Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
ACEs are various psychological traumas that are encountered during childhood. It is linked to increased levels of anxiety and depression as compared to their peers. These events lead to a state of prolonged stress, which in turn lead to many health problems and frequent infection in the long run.
The first famous study that was published on it was ‘The CDC-Kaiser Study’ which was published in 1998. It tried to establish a relationship of health risk behaviour and disease in adulthood to the breadth of exposure to childhood emotional, physical or sexual abuse, and household dysfunction during childhood. The results were surprisingly positive and a strong graded relationship was established.
Hence, the World Health Organization designed a questionnaire titled ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences International Questionnaire (ACE-IQ)’ to help improve the prognosis of children suffering from ACEs.
Trauma-informed approaches have helped to improve child welfare by
Openly discussing trauma
Addressing parental trauma
Social services and NGOs play a crucial role in locating and providing sufficient relief in affected individuals. It is therefore important to spread awareness regarding ACE and redirect affected children to proper referrals to help them cope up.
Felitti VJ, Anda RF, Nordenberg D, Williamson DF, Spitz AM, Edwards V, Koss MP, Marks JS. Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. Am J Prev Med. 1998 May;14(4):245-58. doi: 10.1016/s0749-3797(98)00017-8. PMID: 9635069.