What are ACEs?

ACEs, or adverse childhood experiences, are stressful or traumatic events that impact children, including abuse and neglect. The term ACEs was developed from the CDC-Kaiser Permanente study that identified seven categories of stressful experiences including:

Psychological abuse or emotional neglect

Physical abuse

Sexual abuse

Violence against mother

Living with a household member who was addicted to a substance, depressed, mentally ill or suicidal, or incarcerated

Parental separation or divorce


The Impact

Adverse Childhood Experiences have been linked to poor health outcomes including but not limited to obesity, stroke and heart disease; detrimental behaviors such as substance abuse and suicide, and early death.  The study also revealed that ACEs are common, as nearly two-thirds of study participants reported at least one ACE, and more than one in five reported three or more ACEs.