Understanding and Addressing the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
What do the rates of asthma, life dissatisfaction, and adult incarceration all have in common?
These experiences could be reduced by 22-67% if it weren’t for one thing… ACEs.
What are ACEs?
“ACEs” stands for “Adverse Childhood Experiences”. ACEs are situations or circumstances that people experience in childhood that negatively impact their physical, mental, and/or emotional well-being. The term “ACEs” comes from a study conducted by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente Department of Preventive Medicine. The ACEs Study grouped different types of ACEs into 3 main categories: Abuse, Neglect, and Household Dysfunction. The data from this original ACEs Study indicates that if a person experiences 1 ACE or more, their likelihood of developing health challenges increases.
Learning from the Original ACE Study
With data recorded from over 17,000 people, the ACEs Study shows that if a person experiences even just 1 ACE, they are more likely to develop mental, behavioral, and/or physical health challenges, later in life. 87% of all participants from the original study, who reported experiencing ACEs, experienced 2 or more ACEs before the age of 18. Check out the graphs created from the data in the original ACEs Study. These graphs show the ratio of ACEs to different, negative health outcomes.
As you can see from the graphs below, the higher the “ACE Score” (# of ACEs experienced) that people had, the higher the rates of mental, behavioral, and physical health challenges that those people experienced.