Objective: We analyze whether adverse childhood experiences predict weekly alcohol consumption patterns of Kenyan mothers and their partners.
Method: Randomly selected respondents (n = 1,976) were asked about adverse childhood experiences and alcohol consumption patterns for themselves and their partners. Fixed effect models were used to determine odds of reporting weekly alcohol consumption and the number of beverages typically consumed, controlling for wealth, age, education, and partner alcohol consumption.
Results: Cumulative adverse childhood experiences predicted higher odds of weekly alcohol consumption of the respondent and her partner. Childhood exposure to physical abuse, emotional neglect, and mental illness in the household significantly increased odds of weekly alcohol consumption by the respondent. More drinks consumed per typical session were higher among respondents with more cumulative adversities. Physical and emotional abuse significantly predicted number of drinks typically consumed by the respondent.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore and find associations between adverse childhood experiences and alcohol consumption in Kenya. Consistent with high-income settings, exposure to childhood adversities predicted greater alcohol consumption among Kenyan women.
Keywords: Alcohol use; Kenya; adverse childhood experiences.