The co-occurrence of adverse childhood experiences and mental health among Latina/o adults: A latent class analysis approach

Document Type


Publication Date



Adverse childhood experiences, Mental health, Latent class analysis, Depressive symptoms, Latino mental health


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been linked to poor mental health among Latina/os. Few studies, however, have attempted to understand the extent to which ACEs co-occur and whether different forms of ACE co-occurrence differentially shape poor mental health patterns among Latina/os. The present study begins to address this gap by (1) identifying latent classes of ACEs and (2) determining whether and how different ACE classes shape high depressive symptoms among Latina/o adults. Data were drawn from two waves of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, a longitudinal, community-based sample of Latina/os living in four urban communities. Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was used to identify subgroups of Latina/os who were exposed to co-occurring forms of maltreatment. Results from the LCA revealed four classes: (1) high ACEs, (2) emotional and physical abuse, (3) low ACEs, and (4) household alcohol/drug use and parental separation/divorce. Regression analyses indicate, when compared to the low ACEs class, Latina/os in the high ACEs class and emotional/physical abuse class were more likely to report high depressive symptoms. Findings from this study demonstrate ACEs co-occur in distinct classes of maltreatment and different combinations of ACEs uniquely shape the risk of poor mental health among Latina/os. Results from this study can help inform tailored mental health interventions for Latina/os that have a history of ACE exposure.


This article was published with support from the Open Access Publishing Fund administered through the University of Arkansas Libraries.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.