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The Groundbreaking ACE Study

Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. Much of the foundational research in this area has been referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

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A Must See Short Film by Nathanael Matanick

"We made ReMoved with the desire that it would be used to serve in bringing awareness, encourage, and be useful in foster parent training, and raising up foster parents."

Childhood Trauma and Positive Health

The term Adverse Childhood experience (ACEs) refers to a range of events that a child can experience, which leads to stress and can result in trauma and chronic stress responses. Multiple, chronic or persistent stress can impact a child’s developing brain and has been linked in numerous studies to a variety of high-risk behaviors, chronic diseases and negative health outcomes in adulthood such as smoking, diabetes and heart disease. According to the CDC, Adverse childhood experiences are broken down into three groups including abuse, household challenges, and neglect. The presence of adverse childhood experiences can lead to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, and low life potential or early death. Learn more here.

How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Life Span

Nadine Burke Harris’ healthcare practice focuses on a little-understood, yet very common factor in childhood that can profoundly impact adult-onset disease: trauma. Read more here.

Learn more about Nadine Burke Harris here

InBrief: The Science of Neglect

Extensive biological and developmental research shows significant neglect—the ongoing disruption or significant absence of caregiver responsiveness—can cause more lasting harm to a young child's development than overt physical abuse, including subsequent cognitive delays, impairments in executive functioning, and disruptions of the body's stress response. This edition of the InBrief series explains why significant deprivation is so harmful in the earliest years of life and why effective interventions are likely to pay significant dividends in better long-term outcomes in learning, health, and parenting of the next generation.

Additional Resources

Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress and Implications for Juvenile Justice

A Guide for Positive Youth Justice Initiative Counties

Effects of Complex Trauma

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Lifelong Consequences of Trauma

American Academy of Pediatrics

The long shadow of adverse childhood experiences

Katie McLaughlin, PhD

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study — the largest, most important public health study you never heard of — began in an obesity clinic

By Jane Ellen Stevens in ACE Study, Child abuse, Child trauma, Chronic disease, Neurobiology

ACE is Widespread: National and State Level Prevalence

Vanessa Sacks, M.P.P., David Murphey, Ph.D., and Kristin Moore, Ph.D.

Gratitude and Well Being: The Benefits of Appreciation

Randy A. Sansone, MD and Lori A. Sansone, MD

Practicing Gratitude can be Good for Mental Health & Well Being

American Psychiatric Association Staff

Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connectedness

The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research & Education By     Dr. Emma Seppala

Social Relationships and Health

Sheldon Cohen, Carnegie Mellon University

The Benefits of a Compassionate Mind

Association for Psychological Science By Dr. Emma Seppala

New Study on Effects of Prayer on Mental Health

Spirituality & Health, By Traci Pedersen

Science, Psychology & Metaphysics of Prayer

Psychology Today, By Michael J. Formica, MS, MA, EdM



Understanding Yourself - Get your ACE Score

There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study. Five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment. Each type of trauma counts as one. 

Find your ACE score here (ACEs too High)

Take the ACE Quiz - And Learn What it Does and Doesn't Mean (Shots: Health News from NPR)



Adverse Childhood Experiences

A collection of news, perspectives, and other resources to help raise awareness, prevent ACEs and improve resiliency.

Center for Youth Wellness

Our mission in the fight against ACEs and toxic stress is three-fold: prevent, screen and heal. 

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

There is no single cause to suicide. It most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition.

Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences

Presentation from the 2015 ASTHO Annual Meeting Salt Lake City, Utah on September 30, 2015.

Reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) by Building Community Capacity: A Summary of Washington Family Policy Council Research Findings

Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community


ACEs Response Toolkit: Raising Resiliency

Iowa ACEs 360

Overcoming Adverse Childhood Experiences: Creating Hope for a Healthier Arizona

Phoenix Children's Hospital

Building Resiliency Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences [ACEs]

Oregon Health Authority

Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention Fund

Preventing adverse childhood experiences and healing the trauma of those already affected

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study: Child Abuse and Public Health – Dr. Robert Anda

Making the Case: Why Prevention Matters

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