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This study examines categories of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and service use backgrounds among a convenience sample of people experiencing homelessness (N = 224), using logistic regression analysis (n = 174) and descriptive and comparative analyses. Eighty-seven percent reported at least 1 of 10 ACEs prior to age 18. Over half (53.2%) reported 4 or more ACEs. Approximately half reported parental loss, emotional neglect, living with a substance abuser, and emotional abuse. ACEs were significantly correlated with one another. Among those who used prior services, ACEs predicted interpersonal prevention, clinical, and criminal justice services for emotional or substance abuse problems. Most indicated services were helpful. This study provides data for policy and program leaders to ensure at-risk families and communities have access to responsive services.


The following article was reproduced with permission of Alliance for Children and Families © 2012:

Heather Larkin, assistant professor, Jihyun Park, research fellow (2012) Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Service Use, and Service Helpfulness Among People Experiencing Homelessness. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services: 2012, Vol. 93, No. 2, pp. 85-93.

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