Adverse childhood experiences by age group in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Adverse Childhood Experiences or (ACES) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. ACEs can include violence, abuse, and growing up in a family with mental health or substance use problems. Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect how the body responds to stress. Children who experience adverse childhood experiences may have more difficulty thriving and tend to experience more difficulty in completing school, maintaining good physical and mental health and achieving success in adulthood.

What the data shows
In Maine, the percent of children experiencing two or more adverse incidents has been declining for each age group for each of the three survey periods. Still, more than 1 in 4 youth ages 12-17 have experienced two or more adverse incidents.  In 2017-2018, Maine had the 11th highest rate in the country at 19.2%, a rate higher, but not statistically significantly higher, than the national average of 18.6%.
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Data Provided By

Definitions: The percent of parents who answer the National Child Health Survey in Maine and report that their child has experienced two or more adverse childhood experiences from a list of 9 items including violence in the home, parental death or divorce, economic hardship and a family member who has mental health issues or substance abuse disorder.


Adverse Childhood Experiences or (ACES) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. ACEs can include violence, abuse, and growing up in a family with mental health or substance use problems. Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect how the body responds to stress.

The numerator is the estimated number and percentage of parents in Maine answering the National Child Health Survey who indicate that their child has experienced two or more adverse incidents from the 9 listed. Adverse incidents asked in the survey: hard to cover basics on family's income (ACE1); parent or guardian divorced or separated (ACE3); parent or guardian died (ACE4); parent or guardian served time in jail (ACE5); saw or heard parents or adults slap, hit, kick, punch one another in the home (ACE6); was a victim of violence or witnessed violence in neighborhood (ACE7); lived with anyone who was mentally ill, suicidal, or severely depressed (ACE8); lived with anyone who had a problem with alcohol or drugs (ACE9); and treated or judged unfairly due to race/ethnicity (ACE 10).

The numerator is the number who answered yes to two or more of these questions and the denominator is the number of survey respondents from Maine in the National Child Health Survey who responded.

Data Source: National Children's Health Survey, the data is for the combined years of 2011-2012, 2016-2017; 2017-2018.Indicator 6-13 Adverse Incidents

Footnotes: Note that the year refers to the last year of the survey, but the survey includes two years. For example, 2018 refers to surveys of the combined years of 2017-2018

Uploaded October 2020