The term adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) refers to a broad range of stressful events, including abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Without adequate support or coping skills, ACEs can lead to inhibited child development, poor mental and physical health, engagement in risky behaviors, and the overutilization of healthcare expenditures1.
An ACE score was created as a way to explain an individual’s risk for potential effects; 1 point for every ACE. A higher ACE score means a higher risk for negative health outcomes in adulthood. Click to find out your ACE score today (Disclaimer: link to external website)
As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for these outcomes.
ACEs are only one part of the equation. We know that the effects of ACEs can be buffered by supportive adult relationships, positive experiences, and developed resilience. Resilience is the ability to cope with and ‘bounce back’ from adversity.
1. Felitti, Vincent J., and Robert F. Anda. "The adverse childhood experiences (ACE) study." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1997).
2. Understanding and Responding to Adverse Childhood Experiences in New York State, May 2018 (PDF)