Associations between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Lifetime Experience of Car Crashes and Burns: A Cross-Sectional Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Nov 30;19(23):16036. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192316036.


Unintentional injury is a significant cause of disease burden and death. There are known inequalities in the experience of unintentional injuries; however, to date only a limited body of re-search has explored the relationship between exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and unintentional injury. Using a cross-sectional sample of the adult general public (n = 4783) in Wales (national) and England (Bolton Local Authority), we identify relationships between ACE exposure and experience of car crashes and burns requiring medical attention across the life course. Individuals who had experienced 4+ ACEs were at significantly increased odds of having ever had each outcome measured. Furthermore, compared to those with no ACEs, those with 4+ were around two times more likely to report having had multiple (i.e., 2+) car crashes and over four times more likely to report having had burns multiple times. Findings expand the evidence base for the association between ACEs and negative health consequences and emphasise the need for effective interventions to prevent ACEs and their impact on life course health and well-being. Such knowledge can also be used to develop a multifaceted approach to injury prevention.

Keywords: adverse childhood experiences; burns; child maltreatment; injury; prevention; road traffic accidents.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents
  • Adult
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences*
  • Burns* / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events