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Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study

The ACE Study (Centre for Disease Control & Kaiser Permanente, 1995-2011)

  • This study took place over 10 years involving 17,000 participants from the middle class US population with health insurance.
  • People enrolled in a health plan were asked about Adverse Childhood Experiences which included: neglect, all forms of abuse; violence against mother; poverty, divorce or living with household members who were substance abusers, mentally ill or suicidal, or ever imprisoned.
  • Participants completed a 10 item trauma category checklist and received a score out of ten based on how many types of trauma they had experienced.

Some findings:

  • 1 in 4 were exposed to 2/10 categories of trauma
  • 1 in 16 were exposed to 4/10 categories of trauma
  • 22% of participants were sexually abused as children
  • 66% of female participants had experienced abuse, violence or family strife
  • Women were 50% more likely than men to have experienced 5 or more categories
  • >66% of people in substance abuse treatment report childhood abuse or neglect
  • 80% of child/adolescent suicide attempts are attributable to Childhood Adverse Experiences
  • A variety of adult adverse health outcomes were strongly associated with the number of ACEs an individual had experienced, such as depression, cancer and heart disease.
  • Lung cancer and heart disease were associated with ACEs independent from traditional risk factors.

For more information about the ACE Study Visit their website.

For more research resources please visit the Resource page.