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IN THIS EPISODE:
Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Roadmap To Understanding And Treatment
Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES)
ACES was a ground breaking study where over 17,000 members of a Kaiser Permanente HMO were surveyed about childhood exposure to trauma. They were asked about ten areas:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Physical neglect
- Emotional neglect
- Mother treated violently
- Household substance abuse
- Household mental illness
- Parental separation or divorce
- Incarcerated household member
The study found that Adverse Childhood Experiences were common. They tended to occur together. And finally the higher the number of them an individual was exposed to the more predictive they were of future health, social and behavioral problems. Subsequent studies have confirmed these findings and continue to expand our understanding of the prevalence of exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences across different populations and geography.
The strong links to future health, social and behavioral problems has called attention to the need for interventions to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences and to treat individuals that already have an exposure to them. Interventions are being implemented in education, criminal justice, social services and many other areas. Some pediatricians are screening mothers and kids to identify risks and vulnerabilities or to understand behavior problems. Many schools focus on creating trauma-focused classrooms that help kids calm their nervous systems in order to allow them to focus on learning.
These exposures can become signposts or “witness marks” to point us toward where attention and treatment are needed to reduce future risks
Additional resources for this episode:
- ACES: Adverse Childhood Experiences Study
- Once you have your ACES Score, go here to understand what it means.
- Now that you’ve taken the ACE Survey, take the resilience survey here!
- Childhood Disrupted – How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Can Heal
- Check out this interactive graphic, Consequences of Lifetime Exposure to Violence COLEVA — Consequences of lifetime exposure to violence and abuse. Go there to learn more and see more references to the detailed original research.
- These and other resources have been collected for you on our Resources page!