The Legacy of Troubled Childhoods: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Sleep, and Delinquency

Tiffaney A. Tomlinson, Daniel P. Mears, Brian J. Stults, Ryan C. Meldrum, Jillian J. Turanovic, Jacob T.N. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Scholars have called for greater understanding of the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on later youth development, including research on sleep as a potential contributor to delinquency. This study seeks to extend that work by situating the focus on ACEs and sleep within a life-course perspective, one that examines life events and turning points, the disruptions that they create, and their longer-term consequences for youth. In particular, drawing on a large-scale survey of high school students, we examine whether ACEs influence delinquency and whether this effect is mediated by sleep. We find modest support for the central hypothesis that ACEs contribute to suboptimal sleep and in turn delinquency. Implications for research and policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1919-1946
Number of pages28
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • adverse childhood experiences
  • delinquency
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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