Lifelong Impact of Childhood Trauma on Adults – ACEs Study

Adverse Childhood Experiences Study – Understanding the Lifelong Impact of Childhood Trauma

Here are a set of resources that you can use to understand your own childhood trauma and the effect it can have on your life. The research is very clear – trauma in childhood leads to shortened life expectancy in adults. Find out more at this Website.

The ACE Study Pyramid illustrates how childhood adversity leads to early death.

Childhood Trauma? Get Your ACE Score

Got Your ACE Score? 

Do you know about the ACEs study? Adverse Childhood Experiences were studied extensively in the 1990s by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Healthcare. The results of the research continue to drive new studies and health treatments today.

The CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Studyuncovered a stunning link between childhood trauma and the chronic diseases people develop as adults, as well as social and emotional problems. This includes heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases, as well as depression, violence, being a victim of violence, and suicide.

This article helps you get your ACEs score using a short questionnaire to measure your level of childhood trauma. Then it tells you the implications of your score.

ACEs are a critical factor in childhood and adult mental illnesses. Take a few minutes to learn how your own childhood trauma may be affecting you.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) by Vince Felitti, MD

Adverse Childhood Experiences by Vince Felitti, MD

Vince Felitti ran the ACE studies in the mid-1990’s. This 13-minute video explains the study and findings. According to Felitti the study shows that ACEs are “the leading determinant of what happens to the health and social well-being of a nation’s population.”

Adverse childhood experiences are far more common than you might suspect, and cause damage that can last a lifetime.


Resources for Childhood Trauma and Stress

The National Child Trauma and Stress Network – A Resource for Learning

Childhood trauma and traumatic stress are the result of a child’s exposure to events that occur suddenly and call forth overwhelming feelings of terror, horror, or helplessness. They can also arise due to repeated exposure to events (complex trauma) that call forth a range of responses, including intense feelings of fear, loss of trust in others, decreased sense of personal safety, guilt, and shame. As adults, people can develop a range of mental health issues including anxiety and depression, as well as physical health challenges including diabetes and heart disease.

The National Child Trauma and Stress Network provides a extensive information and resources that can help you if you suffered childhood trauma or want to learn more about its causes and effects. It also has education for parents and others who can help children facing traumatic events.

Teens & Kids Who Suffer From Depression, Signs, Prevention, Parenting and more

Depression Information for Parents, Teens, and Kids

This page provides a range of resources – links, training, brochures, handouts, etc. – for parents, teens and kids to learn about depression. It comes from Families for Depression Awareness. Here are a few statistics about depression from the site:

  1. Depression begins in adolescence: average depression onset age is 14 years.
  2. Teen depression is common: by the end of their teen years, 20% will have had depression.
  3. Depression is treatable: more than 70% of teens improve with a combination of medication and therapy.
  4. 80% of teens with depression don’t receive help.
  5. Untreated depression has serious consequences. It can lead to:
    • Substance abuse (24% to 50%).
    • Academic failure.
    • Bullying (30% for those bullied, 19% for those doing the bullying).
    • Other disorders (e.g. Eating disorder).
    • Suicide (the 3rd leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year olds).

Parent Handbook on Depression in Children and Adolescents

Handbook-coverHere is a great resource from Erika’s Lighthouse, a Chicago-area-based organization dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and depression. The Parent Handbook on Childhood and Adolescent Depression is a 66-page document that covers a range of issues for parents and teens. Topics include facts about depression, how to get help, issues of living with depression at home and at school, and various treatment options. It is a good read and very useful for understanding what adolescents and young adults face when dealing with depression.



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