The Unveiled Indian Picture of Adverse Childhood Experiences: Socio-Demographic Correlates Among Youth in Kerala
IAHRW International Journal of Social Sciences Review. 6(7), 1248-1257, 2018.
30 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2019
Date Written: September 1, 2018
Background: The impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) significantly determines whether an individual will be functional or dysfunctional in adulthood.
Aims: The current study examines the prevalence and the socio-demographic correlates of ACEs. It also estimates the relative risk for ACEs and the risk for major depression in adulthood with respect to the significant socio-demographic factors.
Methods: Data collected using a Demographic proforma and Childhood Experiences of Care and Abuse Questionnaire-2 from 600 youth, selected through multi-stage stratified sampling from selected educational institutions in Kerala, South India, were analyzed using SPSS-20. Descriptive and inferential statistics (Chi square test, Mann-Whitney U test, and Odds Ratio from Risk analysis) were used.
Results: ACEs were highly prevalent (91%) among youth and more than half of them had experienced three or more ACEs. In the case of ACE severity, gender was significantly associated with psychological abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. Males had exposure to more severe ACEs than females. The odds of having physical and sexual abuses, and risk for major depression in adulthood were significantly greater (two times) among males than females. Further, the odds of experiencing antipathy, sexual and psychological abuses (two times), physical abuse (three times), and, risk for major depression in adulthood (four times) were significantly greater among youth with family dysfunction than those without it.
Conclusions: Irrespective of gender, Kerala’s youth have exposure to multiple ACEs. However, males and those with family dysfunction are at greater risk (physical and sexual abuses, and major depression in adulthood). It highlights the need for specific efforts and policies for prevention of ACEs.
Keywords: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Child Maltreatment, Child Abuse, Mental Health, Youth
JEL Classification: I
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation