Racial/Ethnic Differences in Adverse and Positive Childhood Experiences Across Rural Communities: Results From the National Survey of Children's Health


Both positive and adverse events that occur during childhood and adolescence have been shown to be associated with physical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. This study examined whether adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and positive childhood experiences (PCEs) exposure varied by race/ethnicity among rural children. Key findings include:

  • There were higher rates of four or more ACEs among racial/ethnic minority children living in rural areas.
  • Asian/Pacific Islander rural children had the highest rates of three out of six ACEs: parental death, witnessing neighborhood violence, and economic hardship.
  • Economic hardship was prevalent among rural children, with 26.2% of this population experiencing economic hardship, and over 40% of Black and Asian/Pacific Islander children experiencing economic hardship.
  • There were lower rates of each type of PCE among racial/ethnic minority rural children.
  • Asian/Pacific Islander children had the lowest proportion of each of the following PCEs: after school activities (60.5%), community volunteer (33.4%), guiding mentor (85.7%), supportive neighborhood (34.8%), and resilient family (80.4%).
Rural and Minority Health Research Center
Elizabeth Crouch, Sylvia Kewei Shi, Katherine Kelly, Alexander McLain, Jan Eberth, Janice Probst, Monique Brown, Melinda Merrell, Kevin Bennett