Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Risk of Childhood Delays in Children Ages 1–5

Sarah E. Cprek, Lucy H. Williamson, Honour McDaniel, Rachel Brase, Corrine M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been found to be important contributors to negative health outcomes throughout the lifespan. Birth to 5 years represent a critical period for brain development impacting cognitive, emotional, and social competencies. This study aims to determine the association between overall ACE score and risk of developmental, social, or behavioral delay in a sample of children ages 1–5 years from the National Survey of Children’s Health (N = 21,139). Approximately 1 in 4 (27.3%) children were found to have moderate to high risk of developmental, social, or behavioral delays. A dose–response relationship was found between ACEs and risk of delay with results ranging from 24.2% among children with 0 ACEs to 42.2% among those with 4 or more ACEs. Additional ACEs increased risk of delay by 17%. (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.09–1.25). The data currently supports a strong correlation between ACE score and risk of delay among children ages 1–5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • ACE
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Children
  • Delay risk
  • Nationally representative study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (all)


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