Adverse childhood experiences survey among university students in Turkey (2014)




Today, violence is a social problem affecting all age groups. It is very difficult to estimate the magnitude of violence including maltreatment of children. Official figures are considered to be merely the tip of the iceberg. This study on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) was conducted in 2 257 university students in order to provide evidence-based data about the magnitude of this problem in Turkey. Another aim of the study was to examine relationship between exposure to ACE and health risk behaviours and selected health consequences. The results show a high prevalence of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse beside emotional and physical neglect. The prevalence of household dysfunction was also assessed. Overall, 49.7% of respondent reported exposure to at least one type of ACE. ACE score was positively associated with health risk behaviours of respondents. The risk of smoking, harmful alcohol using and drug using increases dependently on the ACE score. Some health problems, and in particular emotional problems, were associated with ACE score of the participants. Respondents with a history of ACEs were more likely to have family, school, or financial problems. The results of this study will contribute to identify priority areas in need of interventions in Turkey.