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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102136

Adverse Childhood Experiences in Children with Intellectual Disabilities: An Exploratory Case-File Study in Dutch Residential Care

1
Koraal Center of Expertise, De Hondsberg, Hondsberg 5, 5062 JT Oisterwijk, The Netherlands
2
Department of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1018 WS Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Expert Center Social Work and applied Psychology, Professional University of Applied Sciences Leiden, Zernikedreef 11, 2333 CK Leiden, The Netherlands
4
Fier, National Expertise and Treatment Center, Holstmeerweg 1, 8936 AS Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
5
Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Department Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
6
De Bascule, Academic Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Meibergdreef 5, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Global Health)
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Abstract

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are negative childhood events occurring in a child’s family or social environment, that may cause harm or distress. Children with intellectual disabilities (ID) and their families are underrepresented in international ACEs research, while current insights can also contribute to the improvement of their health and well-being. Deficiencies in intellectual and adaptive functioning and living circumstances can increase their vulnerability to adversities. In the present exploratory study 69 case-files of children referred to a Dutch national center for residential youth care for children with ID were analyzed to assess the prevalence and associations of ACEs. It was found that almost half (49.3%) of the children experienced 2 ACEs from the original ACEs framework or more (M (mean) = 2.1; SD (standard deviation) = 1.8) and that the number of ACEs in children was related to the presence of ACEs in parents. Both child and parental ACEs were also related to attachment- and trauma- and stressor-related disorders. Finally, living circumstances and multiple ACEs from the expanded ACEs framework, especially related to parental characteristics, were found to be related to ACEs in children with ID. This implicates the importance of a transgenerational approach when further investigating the impact of ACEs on mental and physical health in children with ID (intellectual disabilities). View Full-Text
Keywords: adverse childhood experiences; intellectual disabilities; children; behavior problems; youth psychopathology; physical health; family context; parents; residential youth care adverse childhood experiences; intellectual disabilities; children; behavior problems; youth psychopathology; physical health; family context; parents; residential youth care
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Vervoort-Schel, J.; Mercera, G.; Wissink, I.; Mink, E.; van der Helm, P.; Lindauer, R.; Moonen, X. Adverse Childhood Experiences in Children with Intellectual Disabilities: An Exploratory Case-File Study in Dutch Residential Care. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2136.

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