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Below is a collection of various blog posts meant to encourage, inspire or educate. Grab a steaming mug of hot liquid this weekend and steal away to a quiet corner for some quick reads.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study
the Largest Public Health Study You Never Heard Of
“Adverse childhood experiences” has become a buzzword in social services, public health, education, juvenile justice, mental health, pediatrics, criminal justice, medical research and even business. The ACE Study – the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study — has recently been featured in the New York Times, This American Life, and Salon.com. Many people say that just as you should what your cholesterol score is, so you should know your ACE score. But what is this study? And do you know your own ACE score?
Before they added the new trauma-oriented questions, Anda spent a year pouring through the research literature to learn about childhood trauma, and focused on the eight major types that patients had mentioned so often in Felitti’s original study and whose individual consequences had been studied by other researchers. These eight included three types of abuse — sexual, verbal and physical. And five types of family dysfunction — a parent who’s mentally ill or alcoholic, a mother who’s a domestic violence victim, a family member who’s been incarcerated, a loss of a parent through divorce or abandonment. He later added emotional and physical neglect, for a total of 10 types of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs.
The ACE Study became even more significant with the publication of parallel research that provided the link between why something that happened to you when you were a kid could land you in the hospital at age 50. The stress of severe and chronic childhood trauma – such as being regularly slapped or punched, constantly belittled and berated, watching your father beat up your mother – releases hormones that physically damage a child’s developing brain.