The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of the link between childhood maltreatment and health and well-being later in life. Using data from 17,000 participants, the study which was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente, demonstrates that trauma and adverse experiences during childhood are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death in the United States, as well as for poor quality of life.
The study defines “adverse childhood experiences” as exposure to:
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence
- Household members abusing alcohol or drugs
- Other traumatic stressors
The ACE Study uses the ACE Score, which is a count of the total number of ACEs respondents reported. The ACE Score is used to measure the total amount of stress in childhood.
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