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Sexual and Gender Minority Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale

Sexual and Gender Minority Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine includes an article: “The 

Sexual and Gender Minority Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale”, by Phillip W. Schnarrs, et al.

Here’s the abstract:

  • Introduction

Sexual and gender minority adverse childhood experiences (SGM-ACEs) are identity-based forms of early life adversity. Exposure to SGM-ACEs is associated with increased odds for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in SGM adults. The purpose of this study was to further test a revised version of the measure in a U.S. sample with more robust and clinically relevant mental health outcomes.

  • Methods

In May and June 2022, a national sample of SGM adults (n = 4,445) was recruited from a Qualtrics Panel to complete a 20-minute online survey that included questions regarding ACEs, SGM-ACEs, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were used to examine factor structure. Multivariable regression was used to assess criterion validity, and a sensitivity analysis was conducted. Data were analyzed in February 2023.

  • Results

Respondents indicate that vicarious trauma (81%) and school bullying (67%), were the most common experiences, and that all SGM-ACEs were frequently occurring prior to adulthood. CFA determined a one factor solution. Participants with more SGM-ACEs exposure had worse anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms (β = 0.16, β = 0.18, β = 0.26, p < .0001, respectively), after controlling for ACEs exposure and demographic factors. A sensitivity analysis indicated that estimates were similar in terms of magnitude and direction.

  • Conclusions

SGM-ACEs are commonly and frequently occurring prior to adulthood and impact adult SGM mental health. Overall, the measure had good to excellent psychometric properties. Future research should consider integrating SGM-ACEs and Minority Stress Theory.


Phillip W. Schnarrs, Ph.D. Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin, Health Discovery Building (HDB) 4.814, 1601 Trinity Street, Austin, TX 78712, Office Phone: 512-495-5668, Cell Phone: 512-831-1200

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