What are Adverse Childhood Experiences?
There’s a lot of discussion in the Education field about “Adverse Childhood Experiences.” Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are particular traumatic events that occur during childhood before the age of 18. When children experience trauma and educators understand its impact, trauma-informed interventions can be developed, which reduces the resulting negative consequences. Communities have also become involved in decreasing ACEs, preventing abuse and mistreatment, and creating more positive outcomes for children and their families (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).
Childhood trauma research conducted in the 1990s discovered a connection between the number of Adverse Childhood Experiences one has and the number of adverse outcomes they experience as adults. These resulting negative results included physical health, medical issues, mental illness, addiction, and risk-taking behaviors. The original ACE Study was conducted from 1995 to 1997 by Kaiser Permanente with two waves of data collection from over 17,000 HMO members. The study found that experiencing a traumatic childhood not only significantly impacts the probability that the individual will suffer from future health issues, but indicates a higher likelihood of further adult victimization as well.