Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trajectories of Firearm Exposure in Childhood

Abigail Novak*, Daniel Semenza, Colleen Gutman, Nia Heard-Garris, Alexander Testa, Dylan B. Jackson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the longitudinal relationship between exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in early life and trajectories of firearm exposure from early to middle childhood (ages 5-9 years old). Study design: Data from the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LOGSCAN) study were used. The LONGSCAN study was a prospective study in the United States and contained data from 1354 children from age 4 to age 18 years old. Exposure to ACEs was measured through the wave 1 interview (age 5 years old) and trajectories of firearm exposure were created using data from waves 1 (age 5 years old) and two (age 9 years old). Results: Two trajectories of firearm exposure in childhood were identified: a low exposure group and a group with persistently-high firearm exposure from ages 5 to 9 years old. ACEs were associated with membership in the high exposure group and children with four or more ACEs had over twice the odds of membership in the high exposure group compared with children with zero ACEs. Conclusion: ACEs exposure in early childhood is associated with persistently-high exposure to firearms from early to middle childhood. This finding highlights the need for pediatricians to consider screening for both ACEs and firearm exposure in routine examinations, as well as the need for future research to identify and evaluate interventions intended to address exposure to adversity and firearms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114008
Journaljournal of pediatrics
StatePublished - Jul 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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