Parental alcoholism, adverse childhood experiences, and later risk of personal alcohol abuse among Chinese medical students

Biomed Environ Sci. 2008 Oct;21(5):411-9. doi: 10.1016/S0895-3988(08)60062-8.


Objective: To determine the status of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the association of multiple ACEs with both parental alcoholism and later personal alcohol abuse among Chinese medical students with a view of improving adolescent health and reducing alcohol abuse among them.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 2073 Chinese medical students completed a survey on ten categories of ACEs in Anhui province of China. The association of parental alcoholism with ACEs and personal alcohol abuse was assessed by logistic regression analyses.

Results: The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for each category of ACEs in the subjects whose parents (either fathers or mothers or both) had alcohol abuse was 2 to 14 times higher than that in those with parental alcoholism (P<0.05). Subjects with bi-parental alcoholism had the highest likelihood of ACEs. Compared with the subjects without ACEs, therisk of personal alcohol abuse was increased by 2-4-folds in the subjects with ACEs, irrespective of parental alcoholism (P<0.05). The total number of ACEs (ACE score) had a graded relationship to 4 categories of personal alcohol abuse with or without parental alcoholism. The prevalence of personal alcohol abuse among the subjects with parental alcoholism was higher, which was independent of ACE scores.

Conclusion: The prevalence of ACEs is generally serious in China. Efforts should be made to prevent and treat children with ACEs and subsequently to reduce alcohol abuse and later problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child of Impaired Parents / psychology*
  • China
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*