Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Research & Data Analysis Division


Publication cover for 'Adverse Childhood Experiences Associated with Behavioral Health Problems in Adolescents'

Nov 12 | 11.178 | Online Library

Adverse Childhood Experiences Associated with Behavioral Health Problems in Adolescents

Findings from administrative data for youth age 12 to 17 enrolled in Medicaid

This report demonstrates the use of state administrative data to measure adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and to quantify associations between these experiences and behavioral health problems identified during adolescence. The adverse experiences reported include the occurrence of the following in the child’s birth family: child abuse and/or neglect; parental substance abuse, criminal justice involvement, mental illness, or death; domestic violence; and homelessness. Although odds of having a substance abuse or mental health problem documented in state administrative data during adolescence increased substantially with each added adverse experience, risk levels varied greatly by type of experience. Specifically, child abuse and/or neglect increased behavioral health risk at a much higher rate than other factors.