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Table 1 Definition and prevalence of adverse childhood experience and ACE score

From: The relationship of adverse childhood experiences to a history of premature death of family members

Category of adverse childhood experiences (Total N = 17 337) Prevalence (%)
   Emotional abuse 10.6
Did a parent or other adult in the household ever, sometimes, often or very often (1) swear at you, insult you, or put you down? (2) act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?  
   Physical abuse 28.3
Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often (1) push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? (2) hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?  
   Sexual abuse 20.7
Did an adult or person ≥ 5 years older ever (1) touch or fondle you or (2) have you touch their body in a sexual way? (3) attempt or (4) actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?  
Household dysfunction  
   Domestic violence (response options: never, once or twice, sometimes, often, very often) 12.7
Was your mother (or stepmother) (1) pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? (2) kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? (3) repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes? (4) threatened with or hurt by a knife or gun?  
   Parental separation or divorce 23.3
Parents ever separated or divorced?  
   Mental illness in household 17.3
Lived with a household member who was depressed or mentally ill?  
   Household substance abuse 26.9
Lived with anyone who (1) was a problem drinker/alcoholic? (2) used street drugs?  
   Criminal household member 4.7
Did a household member go to prison?  
   Emotional neglect 14.8
(1) There was someone in my family who helped me feel important or special. (2) I felt loved. (3) People in my family looked out for each other. (4) People in my family felt close to each other. (5) My family was a source of strength and support.  
   Physical neglect 9.9
(1) I didn't have enough to eat. (2) I knew there was someone there to take care of and protect me. (3) My parents were too drunk/high to take care of me. (4) I had to wear dirty clothes. (5) There was someone to take me to the doctor if I needed it.  
ACE score (Number of Adverse Childhood Experiences)  
0 36.4
1 26.2
2 15.8
3 9.5
≥ 4 12.1
  1. * The data are available in Wave II only (N = 8629). Some items in both neglect categories were reverse scored to reflect the framing of the question.