At Kaiser Permanente, we recognize the lasting impact that Adverse Childhood Experience has on the health and well-being of kids and adults.
What are ACEs?
Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). Experiences include:
- Physical or emotional abuse, neglect
- Observing violence in the community
- Caregiver with mental illness
Graphic used from KCV Health systems. See it here.
Exposure to childhood ACEs can increase the later risk of:
- Teen pregnancy
- Intimate partner violence
- Severe obesity
- Drug abuse
- Sexual transmitted disease
It is also important to know that childhood experiences are only part of a person’s story. We know that resilience—the ability to bounce back—is just as important.
There are many ways to build resilience:
- Make connections, such as new friends
- Maintain a daily routine and practice self-care
- Nurture a positive self-view
- Accept that change is part of living and new goals can be made.
Research has shown that just one caring, safe relationship early in life can make a difference in the long-term impact of stressful experiences.
Graphic used from Preventing Child Abuse. See it here.
- Connected Parents, Connected Kids, Futures Without Violence, (7 min.)
- How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime, by Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris (TED Talk, 16 min.)
- Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change, (5 min.)
- How Children and Adults Can Build Core Capabilities for Life, (5 min.) by Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
- Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius
- They Can’t Find Anything Wrong! By David D. Clarke
- Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal by Donna Jackson Nakazawa