Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 289–306 | Cite as

Expanding the Original Definition of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

  • Canan KaratekinEmail author
  • Maria Hill


We report two studies examining psychometric properties of an expanded measure of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that combined the original ACEs items with items from the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire. In Study 1, we examined its factorial structure, internal consistency, and concurrent validity in undergraduates (N = 1479). In Study 2, we also examined replicability of frequencies of ACEs, test-retest reliability, and convergent and predictive validity. Results suggested a model with four inter-related factors: maltreatment, household dysfunction, community dysfunction, and peer dysfunction/property victimization. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, concurrent and convergent validity were acceptable, and findings were replicated across samples. We suggest that this expanded measure is assessing early experiences of victimization and helplessness in the face of perceived intentional emotional and physical threats or actual harm by others, and that although they may not all be “traumatic,” their cumulative impact is associated with poor mental health in young adults.


Adverse childhood experiences Trauma Reliability Validity Factorial structure Mental health Stress 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Child DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.University of St. ThomasSt PaulUSA

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