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Child Abuse & Neglect





Existing research using nationally representative samples has provided valuable information regarding the prevalence and context of childhood adversity, but Native American persons have largely been absent from these studies.


We examined adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among persons identifying as White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American in the NESARC, a longitudinal study (Wave 1: 2001–2002; Wave 2: 2004–2005) using a nationally representative sample from the United States.


Means tests and negative binomial regression were used to examine the prevalence and variety of ACEs across racial/ethnic groups and race/ethnicity-sex dyads.


Native American persons reported the greatest average number and variety of ACEs than persons from any other racial/ethnic group, and reported the highest rates of physical abuse, sexual abuse, parental substance abuse, and witnessing violence than members of any other racial/ethnic category. Native American females reported the greatest rates of emotional abuse, while Native American males reported the greatest rates of physical neglect; the highest rates of parental substance use among the race/ethnicity-sex dyads were reported by both Native American females and males. Significantly higher rates of sexual violence were reported by Native American females compared to other groups; almost 1 in 4 Native American females reported sexual violence.


Future research should make a concerted effort to broaden examinations of ACEs to include Native American respondents and to include measures of historical trauma and racial discrimination. Broader support for system change as well as increased development and use of culturally responsive prevention and intervention programming is likely necessary to reduce ACEs among Native American persons.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Elsevier in [Child Abuse & Neglect] on [January 20, 2021], available online:

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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