It is well established that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with detrimental health outcomes in adulthood. Less is known about the relationships between ACEs and education outcomes and among adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between ACEs and adolescents' self-reported education outcomes and provincial education assessments among adolescents in Manitoba, Canada. Data were gathered from 1002 adolescents who participated in the Well-Being and Experiences (WE) Study. A subsample of the adolescents (84%) consented to having their WE survey data linked to administrative education databases. Binary and multinomial logistic regression models were computed to examine associations between ACE history and self-reported education outcomes and provincial education assessments, adjusting for sociodemographic variables. Adolescents with an ACE history had significantly increased likelihood of having ever been suspended from school (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 3.33, 95% CI 1.60-6.92), of lower grades (adjusted relative risk ratio (aRRR) = 3.21, 95% CI 1.42-7.29), and of chronic school absenteeism (aRRR = 2.45, 95% CI 1.28-4.68) compared with adolescents without an ACE history after adjusting for sociodemographic variables. Findings from this study illuminate the important relationship between childhood adversity and poor education outcomes assessed directly by adolescents. Increasing awareness of the public health risk associated with ACEs and education outcomes may inform education policy and school-based interventions.
Keywords: administrative data; adolescents; adverse childhood experiences (ACEs); child maltreatment; education; survey data; the Well-Being and Experiences Study.