Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and transitions in stages of alcohol involvement among US adults: Progression and regression

Anika A.H. Alvanzo, Carla L. Storr, Beth Reboussin, Kerry M. Green, Ramin Mojtabai, Lareina N. La Flair, Bernadette A. Cullen, Ryoko Susukida, Marissa Seamans, Rosa M. Crum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with a number of medical comorbidities. However, there is a paucity of data on the role ACEs play in transitions in stages of alcohol involvement. Objective: To examine the association between ACEs and transitions in alcohol problems progression and regression between No Problems, Moderate Problems and Severe Problems stages. Participants and setting: Data from 14,363 male and 19,774 female participants in Waves 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Methods: We used latent transition analysis (LTA) with propensity score adjustment to estimate the odds of transitioning across stages of alcohol involvement, between waves, based on the number of types of ACEs experienced. We hypothesized that ACEs would be associated with increased risk of progression and decreased risk of regression. Results: ACEs were associated with progression to higher alcohol involvement stages, with greatest likelihood of progression from No Problems to Severe Problems for those reporting ≥3 ACEs (males: aOR = 4.78 [CI (1.84–12.44)]; females: aOR = 3.81 [CI (1.69–8.57)]). ACEs were also associated with decreased odds of regression to less problematic alcohol involvement stages, with some distinctive patterns of associations in males and in females. Conclusions: This study suggests that ACEs impact transitions in alcohol involvement in both males and females, affecting both progression and regression. The association is magnified for those with multiple types of ACE exposures. These results highlight the need for prevention, early identification and intervention to mitigate the risks associated with childhood maltreatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104624
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Alcohol
  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Latent class analysis
  • Latent transition analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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