By Lisa Heffernan, Yahoo Lifestyle, January 24, 2020
Many Americans have at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) before the age of 17. These ACEs include child neglect and emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, household challenges like substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration, parental separation, or divorce, and witnessing intimate partner violence.
A collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente San Diego, the original ACE study (1998) included more than 17,000 participants and nearly 67 percent of them had at least one ACE. Those with four or more adversities (when compared to those with zero) had a 4- to 12-fold increased health risk for alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, and suicide attempts. As the number of ACEs increased, so did the risk for health problems, including heart disease and cancer.
There have been numerous ACE-related studies since then, taking a closer look at childhood trauma, how it impacts a child's future, and how preventing it can impact life opportunities that resonate across generations. Here are four findings every parent should know.