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Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs, refers to the research on how traumatic or stressful events in a child's life (abuse, neglect, household dysfunction) can impact their future health and well being.

Between 1995 and 1997, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente conducted a study using over 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization members from Southern California. The patients receiving physical exams completed confidential surveys regarding their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors. The study looked at 10 different types of trauma including:

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Credit: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The study concluded that ACEs are common and are linked to a number of life long health problems including:

Credit: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Why are ACEs Important?

Since the original study in 1995, many other researchers have continued to study ACEs and the impact and prevalence they have in our society

  • ACEs are common...nearly two thirds (64%) of adults have at least one.

  • They may cause adult onset of chronic disease such as cancer, stroke, diabetes and mental illness.

  • ACEs tend to co-occur...if you have one ACE there's an 87% chance that you have two or more.

  • The more ACEs you have, the higher your risk of developing chronic disease, mental illness, violence, or being a victim of violence later in life.

To Find Your ACEs Score

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