Faculty Publication: Assistant Professor of Social Work Kerry Lee

July 14, 2022

Conventional and Expanded Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Maternal Functioning Among Low-Income Black Mothers

Authors: Lee, Kerry A.; Harden, Brenda Jones; Jaramillo, Mishaska; Norman, Taylor A.; Parra, Laura Jimenez

Source: Child & Family Social Work, DOI: 10.1111/cfs.12939, June 2022

Type of Publication: Journal Article

Abstract: A paucity of research has examined the individual and cumulative effects of conventional and expanded adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on maternal functioning, especially among low-income Black mothers. Using self-report data from a subsample of Black mothers (N = 157) who participated in a larger study to evaluate the effectiveness of an urban public prekindergarten program in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, we examined the prevalence of ACEs and the individual and cumulative effects of conventional (i.e., family trauma and dysfunction) and expanded (i.e., community stressors) ACEs on depression and health among low-income Black mothers. Findings indicated that Black mothers had more exposure to expanded than conventional ACEs. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that experience of physical neglect was significantly associated with depression and physical abuse with compromised health, and perceived experience of racism was a predictor of depression and compromised health. More conventional and expanded ACEs were associated with clinical levels of depression and compromised health. Findings highlight the need for more research related to the impact of ACEs, especially expanded ACEs, on mental and behavioural health outcomes. Additionally, our findings indicate the need for more trauma-informed care to reduce and address the impact of individual and community-level adversities on low-income Black mothers.

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