The Association Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Preterm Delivery: A Latent Class Approach

Yasamean Zamani-Hank, Ahnalee Brincks, Nicole M. Talge, Jaime Slaughter-Acey, Claire Margerison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Racial and socioeconomic status (SES) disparities in preterm delivery (PTD) have existed in the United States for decades. Disproportionate maternal exposures to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may increase the risk for adverse birth outcomes. Moreover, racial and SES disparities exist in the prevalence of ACEs, underscoring the need for research that examines whether ACEs contribute to racial and SES disparities in PTD. Methods: We examined the relationship between ACEs and PTD in a longitudinal sample of N = 3,884 women from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (1994-2018). We applied latent class analysis to (1) identify subgroups of women characterized by patterns of ACE occurrence; (2) estimate the association between latent class membership (LCM) and PTD, and (3) examine whether race and SES influence LCM or the association between LCM and PTD. Results: Two latent classes were identified, with women in the high ACEs class characterized by a higher probability of emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and foster care placement compared with the low ACEs class, but neither class was associated with PTD. Race and SES did not predict LCM. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that ACEs may not impact PTD risk in previously hypothesized ways. Future research should assess the impact of ACEs on the probability of having live birth pregnancies as well as the role of potential protective factors in mitigating the impact of ACEs on PTD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-531
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2024, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.


  • adverse birth outcomes
  • adverse childhood experiences
  • health disparities
  • latent class analysis
  • pregnancy
  • preterm delivery


Dive into the research topics of 'The Association Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Preterm Delivery: A Latent Class Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this