An Examination of the Test–Retest Reliability of the ACE-SQ in a Sample of College Athletes

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Objective: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study is one of the largest studies ever conducted that has examined the relationship of childhood abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction to subsequent health and well-being later in life. Questions from the ACE study evolved into the ACE Study Questionnaire, a measure used for assessing individuals’ self-reported experiences of childhood adversity. The ACE measure is widely available and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends it as a tool for assessing one’s lifetime risk of mental and physical health problems and other negative social problems. Despite the extensive dissemination of the ACE Study Questionnaire, to date there has been only one article published about its psychometric properties. The current study examined the test–retest reliability of the ACE-SQ in a sample of nonservice seeking college athletes (N = 141). Method: Time 1 and Time 2 of data collection were approximately one year apart. Pearson’s correlations were computed to observe a level of agreement between Time 1 and Time 2 responses. Results: The overall measure yielded a modest test–retest coefficient, r = .71, p < .001. Household dysfunction items demonstrated a higher stability coefficient, r = .65, p < .001 than did abuse and neglect items, r = .52, p < .001. Conclusions: These findings suggest that further research is needed on the psychometric properties of this questionnaire in different age populations.

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