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Community Ment Health J. 2018 Sep 7. doi: 10.1007/s10597-018-0331-z. [Epub ahead of print]

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Their Relation to Parenting Stress and Parenting Practices.

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Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, Barnett House, 32 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2ER, UK.
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA.


The objective of this study was to understand the relationship between the early adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) of parents and their later parenting stress and practices. At the baseline visit of an 8-week course of cognitive behavioral therapy, parenting women completed the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF) and the Positive Parenting Practices (PPP) scale. Linear regression procedures were used to assess the relationship between a parent's own early experience of ACEs and current parenting stress and practices, including if there was a dose-response relationship. For the PSI-SF, significant dose-response relationships were observed between ACEs and the PSI Total Stress score (p < 0.05) and the difficult child subscale (p < 0.05). Additionally, a relationship was suggested with the parental distress subscale (p < 0.10). No significant relationships were found between ACEs and the parent-child dysfunctional interaction subscale of the PSI-SF or the PPP scale. Given the association observed between ACEs and parenting stress, it is important that future psychosocial interventions and policy initiatives preventing ACEs are developed.


Adverse childhood experiences; Parenting practices; Parenting stress; Trauma


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