Intergenerational continuity of adverse childhood experiences in homeless families: Unpacking exposure to maltreatment versus family dysfunction

Angela J. Narayan, Laura S. Nerenberg, Amanda W. Kalstabakken, Madelyn H. Labella, Amy R. Monn, Ann S. Masten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the expanding research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and corpus of studies on intergenerational maltreatment in high-risk families, studies have not examined intergenerational ACEs more broadly, much less in severely disadvantaged families. This study investigated the intergenerational continuity of ACEs in mothers and young children aged 4 to 6 years living in emergency homeless shelters. It also examined whether unpacking ACEs into categories of exposure to maltreatment versus family dysfunction affected intergenerational continuity patterns or child socioemotional problems in school. Negative parenting, in the form of observed inept coercive discipline with children, and cumulative sociodemographic risk were examined as additional predictors of child ACEs and socioemotional problems. Mothers (N = 95; aged 20-45; 64.2% African American, 3.2% African Native, 11.6% Caucasian, 7.4% biracial/multiracial, and 13.6% other) completed questionnaires on parent and child ACEs and cumulative risk factors. They participated in videotaped parent- child interactions rated for observed coercive discipline, and teachers provided reports of children's socioemotional problems. Results indicated that higher parental ACEs predicted higher child ACEs, with higher numbers of parental ACEs in either category (maltreatment or family dysfunction) predicting higher levels of child ACEs in both categories. However, child exposure to maltreatment, but not family dysfunction, significantly predicted elevations in children's socioemotional problems. Findings underscore the role of intergenerational childhood adversity in homeless families and also emphasize that unpacking ACEs in children may illuminate key areas of vulnerability for school adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Volume87
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

Continuity
Maltreatment
Homeless
Childhood
Emergency Shelter
Mothers
Social Adjustment
Parenting
Vulnerable Populations
African Americans
Research
Shelter
Predictors
Parent-child Interaction
Africa
Risk Factors
Young children
Questionnaire
Elevation
Vulnerability

Keywords

  • ACEs
  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Homeless
  • Intergenerational continuity
  • Socioemotional adjustment

Cite this

Intergenerational continuity of adverse childhood experiences in homeless families : Unpacking exposure to maltreatment versus family dysfunction. / Narayan, Angela J.; Nerenberg, Laura S.; Kalstabakken, Amanda W.; Labella, Madelyn H.; Monn, Amy R.; Masten, Ann S.

In: American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 87, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 3-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Narayan, Angela J. ; Nerenberg, Laura S. ; Kalstabakken, Amanda W. ; Labella, Madelyn H. ; Monn, Amy R. ; Masten, Ann S. / Intergenerational continuity of adverse childhood experiences in homeless families : Unpacking exposure to maltreatment versus family dysfunction. In: American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 2017 ; Vol. 87, No. 1. pp. 3-14.
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