Adolescence is a high-risk period for substance use, and the prevalence of adolescent substance use is a public health concern. Contributing factors for adolescent substance use are adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). ACEs are potentially traumatic childhood events that have negative associations with health and risk behaviors. The purpose of this study is to examine how the accumulation, timing, and duration of early ACEs (by age 5) impacts adolescent substance use. In addition, this study examines differences in these relationships by gender. Data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCW) were used for the logistic regression analyses. The results generally showed significant relationships for early cumulative ACEs and early ACE timing and duration variables for the full and female sample when considering bivariate models, recency of trauma, and demographic variables. For male samples, statistical significance was only reached for extreme early cumulative ACEs and extreme early ACE timing and duration variables in all models. No significant relationships existed between early ACEs (accumulation, timing, or duration) and adolescent substance use when considering other major predictors of adolescent substance use at year 15. There were also no significant gender differences for early ACEs and adolescent substance use (accumulation, timing, or duration). Future studies should consider the impact of mediating variables on the relationship between early ACEs and adolescent substance use.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Holcombe, Emley A., "Gendered Differences in the Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Adolescent Substance Use" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9654.
adverse childhood experiences, adolescence, substance use, gender