Adverse Childhood Experiences in Latinx Families: A Comparison between Intraracial and Interracial Families

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Racial/ethnic minorities are prone to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), posing a concern over social justice. However, the influence of interracial family structure has been rarely discussed. Considering that 26% of Hispanic individuals form interracial marriages in the U.S., we need to examine whether interracial family structure matters for ACEs disparities in Latinx families. We hypothesized that there were differences in ACEs between intraracial and interracial families in the Latinx population. A Latinx sample was collected from the Fragile Family and Child Well-being Studies with 1113 children of two Latinx parents and 397 children of interracial parents (e.g., White mother/Latinx father, Black mother/Latinx father, Latinx mother/White father, Latinx mother/Black father). Negative binomial models revealed a higher overall ACEs score among children in interracial families (β = 0.54, p < 0.05). Compared to children with two Latinx parents, children in each interracial family group were prone to higher risks of different ACEs. For example, children with Latinx mothers and Black fathers were more likely to experience parental separation (OR = 2.33), household material hardship (OR = 1.64), physical abuse (OR = 6.01), and psychological abuse (OR = 3.49) than children in intraracial Latinx families. Based on our findings, we call for culturally responsive ACEs prevention and intervention that consider the unique stressors of interracial families, to promote the health and well-being of racial/ethnic minorities.

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