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Journal Article


Ujhelyi Nagy A, Kuritár Szabó I, Hann E, Kósa K. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019; 16(6): e16061048.


Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, Hungary.


(Copyright © 2019, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






Background: Child maltreatment has been firmly established as a fundamental risk factor for adult health. However, its quantification poses many questions methodologically, psychologically, and culturally alike. We carried out the first nationally representative survey research in Hungary and in Central⁻Eastern Europe to assess the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among adults. Methods: Data were collected by an opinion research company using a screening tool of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study. Results: 25% (n = 293) of adults reported any childhood adversity; 5% (n = 59) of them had four or more ACEs. The most prevalent forms of child maltreatment were emotional (5%, n = 59) and physical abuse (5%, n = 59), sexual abuse (1%, n = 12) being the least prevalent. The most frequent dysfunctional household condition was parental divorce or separation (13%, n = 153), followed by household substance abuse (11%, n = 129). Conclusions: Nationally representative surveys on ACEs found a range of overall prevalence of various forms of child maltreatment between 14.1 and 35.2% into which our results fall. Nevertheless, our survey most likely underestimates the prevalence of child maltreatment in Hungary, reflecting the impact of a host of factors influencing awareness. Survey research methods are appropriate to obtain nationally representative data on child maltreatment that not only contribute to designing interventions but can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of interventions to improve child and adult health in the long run.

Language: en


ACE Score Calculator; Hungarian representative adult sample; adverse childhood experiences (ACEs); opinion poll


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