Mental Health Screening for Children and Adolescents



Pediatr Nurs. 2020;46(1):27-31. 

In This Article

Adverse Childhood Experiences

In the last decade, research identified a relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as abuse, neglect, and household problems, and a lifelong effect on the person's physical, mental, sexual, and behavioral health (Blum et al., 2019; Boullier & Blair, 2018; Bryan, 2019; Crouch et al., 2019; Jones et al., 2019; Loria & Caughy, 2018; Morone, 2017). Crouch and colleagues (2019) found that in 45,387 children in the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, the most prevalent ACEs reported were financial hardship and parental/guardian divorce or separation. Loria and Caughy (2018) found similar results in immigrant and non-immigrant Latino children, with more in non-immigrant third or higher generations. Jones and colleagues (2019) reported that higher maternal ACEs scores were associated with changes in their infants' placentas and autonomic nervous system responses. Maternal depression and impoverished living conditions have been linked to poor child health and developmental outcomes (Brand & Brennan, 2009; Zimmer & Minkovitz, 2003). An entire issue of the Journal of Pediatric Nursing (Volume 44, January-February 2019) was devoted to research to improve the quality of life through screening and improved management of chronic conditions.