September 25, 2023

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2023 Aug 14. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000883. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to determine whether there is an association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and lifetime history of early childhood mild head or neck injury and concussion in a nationally representative US cohort.

SETTING AND DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional study using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (data release 3.0), a prospective investigation of child brain development and health.

PARTICIPANTS: There were 11 878 children aged 9 or 10 years at baseline, recruited from 21 school-based sites in the United States. After excluding children with missing questionnaires for the primary exposure variable and children with severe brain injuries involving more than 30-minute loss of consciousness, the final sample size was 11 230 children.

MEASURES: The primary exposure variable was ACEs. We measured eight ACEs: sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional neglect, parent domestic violence, parent substance use disorder, parental mental illness, parent criminal involvement, and parent divorce. The primary outcomes were head or neck injury and concussion, measured using the Ohio State University Traumatic Brain Injury Screen-Identification Method Short Form.

RESULTS: The sample (N = 11 230) was 52% boys with a mean age of 9.9 years (SD = 0.62 years). The racial and ethnic makeup was reflective of national demographics. Having a higher overall ACE count was associated with higher odds of head or neck injury, with greater odds with more ACEs reported. Children with 2 ACEs had 24% greater odds of head or neck injury (AOR = 1.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.06-1.45) and 64% greater odds of concussion (AOR = 1.64, 95% CI = 1.18-2.22), and children with 4 or more ACEs had 70% greater odds of head or neck injury (AOR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.14, 2.49) and 140% greater odds of concussion (AOR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.15-4.47). The individual ACE categories of sexual abuse, parent domestic violence, parental mental illness, and parent criminal involvement were significantly associated with increased risk of head or neck injury and parental mental illness with increased risk of concussion.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: ACEs are associated with early childhood mild head or neck injury and concussion and should be integrated in head injury prevention and intervention efforts.

PMID:37582185 | DOI:10.1097/HTR.0000000000000883