Survey on adverse childhood experiences in Montenegro (2015)



The Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey in Montenegro included a representative sample of first year university students (N =1600) in Montenegro from seven cities. The survey took into account gender distribution of students[833 females (53.2%) and 732 (46.8%) males, whose mean age (±SD) is 19.9 ± 1.9 years]. The survey aimed to estimate the prevalence of child maltreatment and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the characteristics of health risk behaviours and to explore the associations between ACEs and health risk behaviours. Results showed that the most common reported ACEs  were emotional abuse (30.4%) and emotional neglect (27%). Of those emotionally neglected, 38% were males, and 18,1% were females. Physical abuse was reported by 24.3% respondents, sexual abuse 3.9%, while physical neglect was reported by 18.8%. As for household dysfunction, witnessing mother being treated violently (24%) and alcohol misuse (11.9%) in the family were the most common. The most common health risk behaviours reported were smoking, risky sexual behaviour (more than 3 lifetime sexual partners) and alcohol and drug use. The study shows a strong graded incremental response between number of ACEs and the likelihood of problem alcohol and drug use, multiple sexual partners, smoking and attempted suicide. These results show that there is a need for a strategy on the prevention of child maltreatment and other ACEs.