The role of gender in the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and delinquency and substance use in adolescence

Academic Article


  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), a construct measuring childhood adversity via abuse and household dysfunction, is linked to subsequent health problems and maladaptive behaviors. Theorized as a cumulative stressor, ACEs promote a chain of negative outcomes across the life-course. Though ample medical and health research has provided support for this proposition, less studies have examined the relationship between ACEs and delinquency, and very few have examined the role of gender. Analyzing data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, this study assesses the associations between ACEs and delinquency and substance use separately for boys (n = 964) and girls (n = 947). Hierarchical Generalized Linear Models show that ACEs may be uniquely associated with delinquency for boys and substance use for girls. Gender differences in criminological risk factors reveal potential intervening mechanisms in these relationships, suggesting that ACEs may operate through different pathways for boys and girls.
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    Author List

  • Leban L; Gibson CL
  • Volume

  • 66