Objective: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) impact health across the life course. The purpose of this study was to identify caregiver ACEs, current adversity, and resilience in families seeking care in pediatric acute care settings. Study aims included identifying demographic characteristics, current adversities, and resilience measures associated with caregiver ACEs ≥4.
Design and sample: A cross-sectional survey study design was used and a convenience sample (n = 470) recruited at emergency and urgent care settings of a large Midwest pediatric hospital system.
Measures: Measures were self-reported. The original 10-item ACEs questionnaire measured caregiver past adversity. Current adversity was measured using the 10-item IHELP. The six-item Brief Resiliency Scale measured resilience, and WHO-5 Well-Being Index was used to measure depressive affect.
Results: Compared to participants with ACEs score of 0-3 participants with ACEs ≥4 were more likely to have multiple current adversities, increased risk of depression, and lower resilience.
Conclusions: Caregivers using pediatric acute care settings carry a high burden of ACEs and current adversities. Caregiver ACEs are associated with current child experiences of adversity. Caregivers socioeconomic status and education level may not be an accurate indicator of a family's risks or needs. Pediatric acute care settings offer opportunities to access, intervene, and prevent childhood adversity.
Keywords: acute care; adverse childhood experiences; pediatrics; resilience.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.