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Prevalence and Predictors of Adverse Childhood Experiences among Youths in Rural communities of Oyo State, South-west, Nigeria

M.M. Salawu
E.T. Owoaje


Background: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events a child is exposed to early in life. It is a global problem that constitutes a public health concern. However, few studies have been conducted on ACEs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) like Nigeria. This study assessed the prevalence and predictors of ACEs among youths in rural communities in Oyo State, South-west, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 575 youths selected by multistage sampling technique. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on exposure to ACEs; abuse, neglect and household dysfunctions among respondents. Data were analyzed with SPSS version 21.0. Associations were explored with chi-square test and logistics regression analysis. Level of significance was set at 5%.
Results: The mean age (SD) of respondents was 26.3 (4.9) years. Three hundred and forty-two (59.5%) respondents were males, 252 (43.8%) had secondary education and 276 (24.5%) were classified into the lowest wealth quintiles. Most respondents 529 (92%) reported they had experienced ACEs. Most prevalent ACEs were psychological neglect 247 (42.9%), physical neglect 236 (41.0%), psychological abuse 231 (40.2%) and household substance abuse 223 (38.8%). The predictors of experiencing ACEs were having a mother with primary education and below (AOR=2.61; CI=1.383.51) and being in the lowest wealth quintile (AOR=1.53 CI=1.24-2.87).
Conclusion: Poor education and poverty contributed to the high occurrence of ACEs among youths in rural south-west. Strategic interventions by government/organizations to improve parental education and ameliorate poverty may be beneficial in reducing ACEs and ensure optimal child development.

Keywords: Adverse childhood experiences; Predictors; Youths; Rural; Nigeria

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eISSN: 1115-4608
print ISSN: 0794-7410