National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Adverse Childhood Experiences: Looking at how ACEs affect our lives & society

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Year Published: 2013
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
5 pages

This brief highlights findings from the Kaiser ACE study, which examined the relationships between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and impaired health and wellbeing later in life. Between 1995 and 1997, more than 17,000 people receiving physical examinations completed surveys about their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors. Study findings were based on results from the physical exams and the surveys. The data show that nearly two-thirds of participants reported at least one ACE. Eleven to 28 percent of participants reported some form of abuse, 11 to 28 percent reported some type of family dysfunction, and 10 to 15 percent reported neglect. The ACE study also found that ACEs have a dramatic lifelong impact on risky behavior and physical and mental health. People with six or more ACEs died nearly 20 years earlier on average than those without ACEs.

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