Screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) before age 3: Evidence for the Family Map Inventory


  • Leanne Whiteside-Mansell
  • Lorraine McKelvey uams
  • Kanna Lewis
  • Rubie Peters


Early Childhood Education, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), screening


This study examined a web-based assessment of adverse childhood experiences (eFMI-ACE) of children birth to 3 years-of-age using the Family Map Inventory (FMI-ACE) conducted by early childhood education (ECE) program staff. The paper version of FMI-ACE (pFMI-ACE) is a validated tool to screen ACEs among children birth to 5 years-of-age enrolled in home visiting programs. In this study, parents of children (N=1,591) enrolled in Early Head Start (EHS) between August 2018 and July 2020 were interviewed using the electronically formatted Family Map Inventory (FMI). The EHS providers interviewed parents through the FMI online system as part of their program family assessments. Analyses mirrored the pFMI-ACE validation study to confirm the fidelity of electric assessment of the FMI-ACE (eFMI-ACE). Further analyses examined the change in the eFMI-ACE responses in programs that interviewed families twice during EHS program participation. The eFMI-ACE score, like the validation study, was negatively associated with parental warmth and had a similar distribution. After a minimum 90 days of EHS services (M = 186, SD = 60; range 91-448), eFMI-ACE scores were statistically significantly reduced. The family-friendly screen for risk of ACEs functions similarly in electronic and paper administration and for children birth to 3 years-of-age. It showed small but statistically significant reductions after EHS services.