Skip to main content

"PCEs" and "ACEs" Are Two Sides of the Same "Childhood Experiences" Coin


This collection of reports, shared  with edited highlights, is posted in hopes of raising awareness of the importance of Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs). Please share widely on social media.

1. Seven Early Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) with Potential Benefits in Adulthood

Below are the seven items on the positive childhood experience (PCEs) psychometric analysis. For each item, respondents are asked to respond "yes" or "no" to a prompt, "Before the age of 18, I was..."

  1. Able to talk with my family about my feelings.
  2. Felt that my family stood by me during difficult times.
  3. Enjoyed participating in community traditions.
  4. Felt a sense of belonging in high school.
  5. Felt supported by friends.
  6. Had at least two non-parent adults who took a genuine interest in me.
  7. Felt safe and protected by an adult in my home.

Now that you know the seven PCEs, how many times did you answer "yes" on this seven-item survey? The higher your score, the more positive childhood experiences you had based on this psychometric analysis. According to the researchers, "This study designed, tested, and used a new positive childhood experiences measure that showed a dose-response relationship between how many positive experiences adults reported and their mental and relational health. This new "cumulative positive" design captures aggregate experiences in the same way adverse childhood experiences measure 'cumulative risk.'"

2. Positive Childhood Experiences May Buffer Against Health Effects Of Adverse Ones

First of all, we did find that positive reports on any one of the seven types of positive experiences we assessed were indeed associated with lower rates of mental health problems and higher rates of having relationships as an adult where you get the social and emotional support you need. Yet, as we hypothesized, the biggest effect was when we counted up how many of these experiences were reported β€” just like it's done on all those other studies on adverse childhood experiences. We see that accumulation of positive experiences, just like the accumulation of adverse experiences, really packs a punch. Getting into the numbers, we found that having higher counts of those positive experiences was associated with 72% lower odds of having depression or poor mental health overall as an adult. We also found that those with higher levels of positive experiences were over 3 1/2 times more likely to have all the social and emotional support they needed as an adult.

 3. Positive Childhood Experiences and Adult Mental and Relational Health in a Statewide Sample Associations Across Adverse Childhood Experiences Levels.

 Associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and risks for adult depression, poor mental health, and insufficient social and emotional support have been documented. Less is known about how positive childhood experiences (PCEs) co-occur with and may modulate the effect of ACEs on adult mental and relational health…Positive childhood experiences show dose-response associations with D/PMH and ARSES after accounting for exposure to ACEs. The proactive promotion of PCEs for children may reduce risk for adult D/PMH and promote adult relational health. Joint assessment of PCEs and ACEs may better target needs and interventions and enable a focus on building strengths to promote well-being. Findings support prioritizing possibilities to foster safe, stable nurturing relationships for children that consider the health outcomes of positive experiences.


Add Comment

Comments (0)

Copyright Β© 2021, PACEsConnection. All rights reserved.
Link copied to your clipboard.