ATLANTA, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Adverse childhood experiences such as maltreatment and household dysfunction are common experiences in the United States, health officials say.
A report published in Thursday's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report finds 60 percent of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System respondents reported at least one adverse childhood experience -- such as verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, family mental illness, family substance abuse, domestic violence, incarceration of a family member or divorce, U.S. officials say.
The report finds 8.7 percent of those surveyed reported five or more adverse childhood experiences.
The CDC researchers say their findings reflected few racial/ethnic differences but there were higher rates of all adverse childhood experiences -- except physical abuse -- in women.
There were fewer adverse childhood experiences reported by those age 55 and older, the report says.
"Stronger efforts to prevent child maltreatment and accompanying household stress need to be made and the development and dissemination of evidence-based strategies for people at risk for or who are experiencing adverse childhood experience-related problems should be increased," the report concludes.