Childhood ACEs and their long term outcomes in adulthood

Tara Renae McGee1, Darrick Jolliffe, Jessica Craig, David Farrington

1Griffith University, Mount Gravatt, Australia

This study aims to assess the impact of adverse childhood experiences on later life success in adulthood. Data are drawn from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, a prospective longitudinal study of 411 inner-city London boys who were followed up from childhood to age 48. Adverse childhood experiences include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, exposure to domestic violence, household substance abuse, household mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and having an incarcerated household member. Guided by Farrington and colleagues’ (2006) approach to examining life success, the life success measure incorporates factors such as accommodation, cohabitation, employment, fights, alcohol use, drug use, and psychiatric problems. This paper will examine the extent to which adverse childhood experiences are related to life success in adulthood.


Tara Renae McGee is a developmental and life-course criminologist and Associate Professor at Griffith University. She is the current President of ANZSOC and Co-editor of the Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology.

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