Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events in a child’s life that can have negative and lasting effects on health and well-being.
- ACEs are common. Almost 64% of adults have at least one.
- ACEs don’t occur alone. If you scored one, there’s an 87% chance that you have experienced two or more.
- 1 in 6 adults experienced four or more types of ACEs.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a 10-item questionnaire used to measure childhood trauma.
The questionnaire looks at 10 types of childhood trauma. 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
- the loss of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment.
Want to know your score? Click Here.
What impact does Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have?
You get one point for each type of trauma. The higher your ACE score, the higher your risk of health and social problems. (Other types of trauma exist that could contribute to an ACE score, so it is possible that people could have ACE scores higher than 10; however, the ACE Study measured only 10 types.)
As your ACE score increases, so does the risk of disease, violence, social and emotional problems. With an ACE score of 4 or more, things start getting serious.
- chronic pulmonary lung disease increases by 390%
- hepatitis, increases by 240%
- depression increases by 460%
- suicide increases by 1,220%
- twice as likely to be smokers
- 7x’s more likely to be alcoholic.
- risk of emphysema or chronic bronchitis increases by nearly 400%
- significantly increased risk for 7 out of 10 leading adult causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD, diabetes and Alzheimer’s
- an ACE score of six or higher are at risk of their lifespan decreasing by 20 years.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can impact every aspect of one’s overall wellness (physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, occupational & financial).
The World Health Organization recommends people suffering from post-traumatic stress to advanced treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR therapy is extremely effective in treating adults who have experienced childhood trauma. Both techniques help people reduce vivid, unwanted, repeated recollections of traumatic events.