Neighborhood Poverty and Adverse Childhood Experiences over the First 15 Years of Life

Kathryn Maguire-Jack, Sarah Font, Rebecca Dillard, Darejan Dvalishvili, Sheila Barnhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This study examines the relationship between neighborhood-level poverty and the likelihood of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) across the first 15 years of a child’s life. Using data from six waves of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (n = 4,898), we employ Poisson and logit regression to examine the extent to which neighborhood-level poverty is associated with increased likelihood of ACEs. We find that above and beyond the impact of individual-level economic hardship, neighborhoods with high levels of poverty (between 20 and 39.9% residents living under the federal poverty level) and concentrated poverty (greater than 40% of residents living under the federal poverty level) at the time of birth are associated with an increased number of ACEs reported by age 15. Further, living in a neighborhood with concentrated poverty at the time of birth is associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing 4 or more ACEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-114
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to graciously dedicate this manuscript Dr. Gary Melton, who devoted his career to understanding how to create communities that support families. It was an honor to know Dr. Melton. His mantra “someone will notice, someone will care” will live on in this field through the important work that he started.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • ACEs
  • Neighborhood
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Law


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