CitationBrown, M. J.; Haider, M. R.; Crouch, E.; & Hung, P. (2019). Sex disparities in adverse childhood experiences and cognition among young adults: results from a nationally representative sample. Annals of Epidemiology.
AbstractPurpose One in seven children has experienced abuse and/or neglect in the US. These adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) reportedly increase cancer, HIV/AIDS, and depression risk. Sex differences exist in ACEs and cognitive function. However, research examining the association between ACEs and cognition is limited. This study examined the association between ACEs and cognition; and assessed sex differences. Methods Data were obtained from Waves III (18-28) and IV (24-34) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health from 2,511 men and 3,144 women. Type and number of ACEs were based on reports at Wave III of sexual, physical abuse or neglect before 6th Grade. Cognition was operationalized by summing verbal and numerical recall scores (Wave IV), which measure memory – a key cognition process. Multiple linear regression, adjusting for age and race/ethnicity and accounting for multistage sampling, was used to determine the association between ACEs and cognition. The minimally important differences (MIDs) were calculated. Results Compared to respondents who reported no ACEs, respondents who reported neglect and three ACEs scored two points lower (β: -1.96; 95% CI: -3.87, -0.04) and three points lower (β: -3.32; 95%CI: -6.55, -0.08) in cognition, respectively. This pattern was seen among men who reported neglect (β: -2.60; 95% CI: -5.18, -0.02). MIDs were 1.75 overall and 1.68 for men. Conclusion The MIDs suggested clinical significance for the relationship between neglect, its syndemic effect with abuse, and cognition. Future research should assess how sex vulnerabilities may arise to develop gender- and ACE-specific programs for families.
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book TitleAnnals of Epidemiology
Author(s)Brown, M. J.
Haider, M. R.