At a recent meeting, we discussed the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES). You can get more information about it here.
Briefly, children who experience childhood trauma are increasingly at risk for:
The ACE Study uses the ACE Score, which is a count of the total number of ACE respondents reported. The ACE Score is used to assess the total amount of stress during childhood and has demonstrated that as the ACE score increases, the risk for the following health problems increases in a strong and graded fashion:
- Alcoholism and alcohol abuse
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Fetal death
- Health-related quality of life
- Illicit drug use
- Ischemic heart disease (IHD)
- Liver disease
- Risk for intimate partner violence
- Multiple sexual partners
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Suicide attempts
- Unintended pregnancies
- Early initiation of smoking
- Early initiation of sexual activity
- Adolescent pregnancy
Additionally, each trauma interrupts the development of the child into a fully functioning adult. Traumas include abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. For more info on that go here.
Let’s remember that the youth we encounter have a trauma problem, not a crime problem.