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24-09-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 5/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 5/2020

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Outcomes among At-Risk Spanish-Speaking Latino Families

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 5/2020
Catherine A. LaBrenz, Lisa S. Panisch, Jennifer Lawson, Amber L. Borcyk, Beth Gerlach, Patrick S. Tennant, Swetha Nulu, Monica Faulkner
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This study examined the relationship between ACE score and substance use, mental health, and parenting competence among a sample of Latino caregivers at-risk for child maltreatment. This study sought to increase our understanding of ACEs and outcomes among Latino caregivers that had at least two risk factors for child maltreatment.


Surveys were administered to caregivers with children between 0 and 5 years of age who enrolled in child maltreatment prevention programs and completed by N= 417 Spanish-speaking Latino caregivers before or shortly after beginning the prevention program.


Results suggest that ACE scores are positively associated with mental health issues and substance use, but the relationship between ACE scores and parenting competence is more complex. Furthermore, foreign-born caregivers fared better in terms of mental health and parenting competence than their U.S.-born counterparts among this sample of Spanish-speaking at-risk Latino caregivers.


Implications for future research include incorporating other measures of more current exposure to adversity, such as immigration trauma, when working with recent immigrants. Furthermore, practitioners should be aware of policies related to immigration and how these might impact potential service usage and overall wellbeing among Spanish-speaking clients. More research is needed to better understand other factors that might impact parenting, mental health, and substance use associated with ACEs among Latino families.

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