The Ace Study: my childhood abuse places me inside this study

The psychological and medical fields are now recognizing that children exposed to trauma are significantly more likely to have physical health risk factors later in life.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, conducted through Kaiser Permanente, assessed 17,000 patients’ experiences of childhood trauma, including:

• Physical abuse

• Verbal abuse

• Sexual abuse

• Physical or emotional neglect

• Exposure to domestic violence

• Exposure to household members who were substance abusers

• Exposure to household members who were mentally ill, suicidal, or imprisoned

The study applied a score to participants for each ACE factor they had experienced.

The results of the study indicate that having one ACE factor was highly predictive of having other ACE factors.

Experiencing any one of these categories places a child at risk, but having lived through four or more ACE factors appears to be a critical mass of stress.

Felitti et al. (1998) collaborated with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to understand the degree of risk.

They concluded that adults who had been exposed to four ACE factors as children are


4 times more likely to become depressed,

7 times more likely to use substances,


and 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than adults with an ACE score of zero.

These individuals are more likely to experience social, emotional, and cognitive impairments, and are at greater risk for physical illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and liver disease.

2 responses to this post.

  1. I always found this study interesting. I score really high on it too.

  2. This was ground breaking when it first came out.

    Now they know health issues happen during childhood

    We need to take care of our children much better as a society

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: