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      The ‘Maltreatment and Abuse Chronology of Exposure’ (MACE) Scale for the Retrospective Assessment of Abuse and Neglect During Development

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          Abstract

          There is increasing interest in childhood maltreatment as a potent stimulus that may alter trajectories of brain development, induce epigenetic modifications and enhance risk for medical and psychiatric disorders. Although a number of useful scales exist for retrospective assessment of abuse and neglect they have significant limitations. Moreover, they fail to provide detailed information on timing of exposure, which is critical for delineation of sensitive periods. The Maltreatment and Abuse Chronology of Exposure (MACE) scale was developed in a sample of 1051 participants using item response theory to gauge severity of exposure to ten types of maltreatment (emotional neglect, non-verbal emotional abuse, parental physical maltreatment, parental verbal abuse, peer emotional abuse, peer physical bullying, physical neglect, sexual abuse, witnessing interparental violence and witnessing violence to siblings) during each year of childhood. Items included in the subscales had acceptable psychometric properties based on infit and outfit mean square statistics, and each subscale passed Andersen’s Likelihood ratio test. The MACE provides an overall severity score and multiplicity score (number of types of maltreatment experienced) with excellent test-retest reliability. Each type of maltreatment showed good reliability as did severity of exposure across each year of childhood. MACE Severity correlated 0.738 with Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) score and MACE Multiplicity correlated 0.698 with the Adverse Childhood Experiences scale (ACE). However, MACE accounted for 2.00- and 2.07-fold more of the variance, on average, in psychiatric symptom ratings than CTQ or ACE, respectively, based on variance decomposition. Different types of maltreatment had distinct and often unique developmental patterns. The 52-item MACE, a simpler Maltreatment Abuse and Exposure Scale (MAES) that only assesses overall exposure and the original test instrument (MACE-X) with several additional items plus spreadsheets and R code for scoring are provided to facilitate use and to spur further development.

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          Most cited references54

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          Statistical methods for assessing agreement between two methods of clinical measurement.

          In clinical measurement comparison of a new measurement technique with an established one is often needed to see whether they agree sufficiently for the new to replace the old. Such investigations are often analysed inappropriately, notably by using correlation coefficients. The use of correlation is misleading. An alternative approach, based on graphical techniques and simple calculations, is described, together with the relation between this analysis and the assessment of repeatability.
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            Adverse childhood experiences and the risk of depressive disorders in adulthood.

            Research examining the association between childhood abuse and depressive disorders has frequently assessed abuse categorically, thus not permitting discernment of the cumulative impact of multiple types of abuse. As previous research has documented that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are highly interrelated, we examined the association between the number of such experiences (ACE score) and the risk of depressive disorders. Retrospective cohort study of 9460 adult health maintenance organization members in a primary care clinic in San Diego, CA who completed a survey addressing a variety of health-related concerns, which included standardized assessments of lifetime and recent depressive disorders, childhood abuse and household dysfunction. Lifetime prevalence of depressive disorders was 23%. Childhood emotional abuse increased risk for lifetime depressive disorders, with adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of 2.7 [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.3-3.2] in women and 2.5 (95% CI, 1.9-3.2) in men. We found a strong, dose-response relationship between the ACE score and the probability of lifetime and recent depressive disorders (P<0.0001). This relationship was attenuated slightly when a history of growing up with a mentally ill household member was included in the model, but remained significant (P<0.001). The number of ACEs has a graded relationship to both lifetime and recent depressive disorders. These results suggest that exposure to ACEs is associated with increased risk of depressive disorders up to decades after their occurrence. Early recognition of childhood abuse and appropriate intervention may thus play an important role in the prevention of depressive disorders throughout the life span.
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              Childhood abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction and the risk of illicit drug use: the adverse childhood experiences study.

              Illicit drug use is identified in Healthy People 2010 as a leading health indicator because it is associated with multiple deleterious health outcomes, such as sexually transmitted diseases, human immunodeficiency virus, viral hepatitis, and numerous social problems among adolescents and adults. Improved understanding of the influence of stressful or traumatic childhood experiences on initiation and development of drug abuse is needed. We examined the relationship between illicit drug use and 10 categories of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and total number of ACEs (ACE score). A retrospective cohort study of 8613 adults who attended a primary care clinic in California completed a survey about childhood abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction; illicit drug use; and other health-related issues. The main outcomes measured were self-reported use of illicit drugs, including initiation during 3 age categories: or=19 years); lifetime use for each of 4 birth cohorts dating back to 1900; drug use problems; drug addiction; and parenteral drug use. Each ACE increased the likelihood for early initiation 2- to 4-fold. The ACE score had a strong graded relationship to initiation of drug use in all 3 age categories as well as to drug use problems, drug addiction, and parenteral drug use. Compared with people with 0 ACEs, people with >or=5 ACEs were 7- to 10-fold more likely to report illicit drug use problems, addiction to illicit drugs, and parenteral drug use. The attributable risk fractions as a result of ACEs for each of these illicit drug use problems were 56%, 64%, and 67%, respectively. For each of the 4 birth cohorts examined, the ACE score also had a strong graded relationship to lifetime drug use. The ACE score had a strong graded relationship to the risk of drug initiation from early adolescence into adulthood and to problems with drug use, drug addiction, and parenteral use. The persistent graded relationship between the ACE score and initiation of drug use for 4 successive birth cohorts dating back to 1900 suggests that the effects of adverse childhood experiences transcend secular changes such as increased availability of drugs, social attitudes toward drugs, and recent massive expenditures and public information campaigns to prevent drug use. Because ACEs seem to account for one half to two third of serious problems with drug use, progress in meeting the national goals for reducing drug use will necessitate serious attention to these types of common, stressful, and disturbing childhood experiences by pediatric practice.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                25 February 2015
                2015
                : 10
                : 2
                : e0117423
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [2 ]Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
                Central Institute of Mental Health, GERMANY
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: MHT AP. Performed the experiments: MHT AP. Analyzed the data: MHT AP. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: MHT AP. Wrote the paper: MHT AP.

                Article
                PONE-D-14-39321
                10.1371/journal.pone.0117423
                4340880
                25714856
                325930a5-d9b7-432e-90b0-b6e01d3376ec
                Copyright @ 2015

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                History
                : 1 September 2014
                : 22 December 2014
                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 21, Pages: 37
                Funding
                This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, ( http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml, R01 MH-091391, MHT), and by the National Institute on Drug Abuse ( http://www.drugabuse.gov/, R01 DA-017846, MHT). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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