Updated: May 28, 2021
What are adverse childhood experiences?
Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). For example:
experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect
witnessing violence in the home or community
having a family member attempt or die by suicide
Also included are aspects of the child’s environment that can undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding such as growing up in a household with:
mental health problems
instability due to parental separation or household members being in jail or prison
ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood. ACEs can also negatively impact education and job opportunities. However, ACEs can be prevented.