The role of ACE and mental health care use in psychological dysfunction of male multi-problem young adults

The role of ACE and mental health care use in psychological dysfunction of male multi-problem young adults

The role of ACE and mental health care use in psychological dysfunction of male multi-problem young adults

Individual presentation32Laura van Duin, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, The Netherlands

Room 4FThu 14:00 - 15:30

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with severe problem development. This study examines how eleven types of ACEs and mental health care use history are related to current psychological dysfunction among multi-problem young adults with extensive criminal careers. 643 multi-problem young adult men (age 18-27) gave informed consent for us to collect retrospective data and filled out questionnaires. ACEs were highly prevalent (mean 3.6, SD 2.0). Logistic regression analysis showed that compared with participants who experienced other ACEs, participants who experienced psychological problems in their family and grew up in a single-parent family were more likely to have used mental health care, and physically abused participants were less likely to have used mental health care. Linear regression analyses showed a dose-response relationship between ACEs and internalizing and externalizing problems. Linear regression analyses on the single ACE items showed that emotional abuse and emotional neglect were positively related to internalizing problems. Emotional and physical abuse and police contact of family members were positively related to externalizing problems. While multi-problem young adults experienced many ACEs, only a few ACEs were related to mental health care use in childhood and adolescence. Long-term negative effects of ACEs on psychological functioning were demonstrated; specifically, emotional abuse and emotional neglect showed detrimental consequences. Since emotional abuse and emotional neglect are not easily identified and often chronic, child health professionals should be sensitive to such problems.
Co-authors: Floor Bevaart, Josjan Zijlmans, Marije Jolette Luijks, Theo Doreleijers, André Wierdsma, Albertine Oldehinkel, Reshmi Marhe, Arne Popma

Life course perspectives in youth forensic psychiatry
ACE, multi-problems
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