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Balancing Adverse Childhood Experiences with Hope []


This report presents evidence for HOPE (Health Outcomes of Positive Experiences) based on newly released, compelling data that reinforce the need to promote positive experiences for children and families in order to foster healthy childhood development despite the adversity common in so many families.

These data:

  1. Establish a spirit of hope and optimism and make the case that positive experiences have lasting impact on human development and functioning, without ignoring well-documented concerns related to toxic environments.
  2. Demonstrate, through science, the powerful contribution of positive relationships and experiences to the development of healthy children and adults.
  3. Describe actions related to current social norms regarding parenting practices, particularly those associated with healthy child development. These actions are based on data that suggest that American adults are willing to intervene personally to prevent child abuse and neglect.
  4. Reflect upon the positive returns on investment that our society can expect as we make changes in policies, practices, and future research to support positive childhood environments that foster the healthy development of children.


Much work needs to be done to close the gaps between research and practice, and practical knowledge, public health, and clinical and educational approaches. Future progress will require building on a foundational understanding that supporting children and families means promoting positive relationships and experiences as well as reducing abuse, neglect, and other forms of adversity.

Balancing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) with HOPE* contributes to a growing body of workβ€”the Science of Thrivingβ€”that encourages us to better understand and support optimal child health and development.

Learn more about this report and Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.


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