Expanding the Original Definition of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Canan Karatekin, Maria Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


We report two studies examining psychometric properties of an expanded measure of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that combined the original ACEs items with items from the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire. In Study 1, we examined its factorial structure, internal consistency, and concurrent validity in undergraduates (N = 1479). In Study 2, we also examined replicability of frequencies of ACEs, test-retest reliability, and convergent and predictive validity. Results suggested a model with four inter-related factors: maltreatment, household dysfunction, community dysfunction, and peer dysfunction/property victimization. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, concurrent and convergent validity were acceptable, and findings were replicated across samples. We suggest that this expanded measure is assessing early experiences of victimization and helplessness in the face of perceived intentional emotional and physical threats or actual harm by others, and that although they may not all be “traumatic,” their cumulative impact is associated with poor mental health in young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-306
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 15 2019


  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Factorial structure
  • Mental health
  • Reliability
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Validity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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