Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on Adult Alcohol Consumption Behaviors

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Background: Long term negative physical and mental health problems occur from the lack of appropriate interventions targeting the adult population who experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and partake in risky alcohol consumption behaviors.

Objective: This study aimed to identify the risk for alcohol consumption behaviors, specifically binge drinking (BD) and any drinking (AD), among adults with a history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Methods: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2011–2012 data were used. Descriptive statistics were completed followed by simple and multiple logistic regression to determine the strength of association between ACEs and alcohol consumption, controlling for sociodemographic factors.

Results: The final adjusted sample size was 69,793. Adults who experienced household abuse were 30% more likely to BD (Odds Ratio (OR): 1.30, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.20–1.41) and 21% more likely for AD (OR: 1.21, 95% CI: 1.14–1.28) in the past month. Males were over two times more likely to BD (OR: 2.12, 95% CI: 1.96–2.29) and 60% more likely for AD (OR: 1.60, 95% CI: 1.51–1.69) in the past month compared to females. Individuals who completed some college were at higher risk of BD (OR: 1.51, 95% CI: 1.26–1.82), whereas those who graduated college were nearly two and a half times more likely to report AD in the past month (OR: 2.27, 95% CI: 1.99–2.59) compared to individuals with less than high school education.

Conclusion: Adults who experienced household abuse, are male, or possess at least some college education are at increased risk for BD and AD.