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Hope changes the trajectory.
Learn more about how positive and adverse childhood experiences affect a child's story.
Adverse Childhood Experiences
Adverse Childhood Experiences is the term given to describe all types of abuse, neglect, and other traumatic experiences that occur to individuals under the age of 18. The landmark Kaiser ACE Study examined the relationships between these experiences during childhood and reduced health and well-being later in life.
Types of ACEs:
ACEs are common across all populations. Almost two-thirds of study participants reported at least one ACE, and more than one in five reported three or more ACEs.
Some populations are more vulnerable to experiencing ACEs because of the social and economic conditions in which they live, learn, work and play.
The ACE score is the total sum of the different categories of ACEs reported by participants. Study findings show a graded dose-response relationship between ACEs and negative health and well-being outcomes.
In other words, as the number of ACEs increases so does the risk for negative outcomes. For an exhaustive list of outcomes see selected journal publications.
Positive Childhood Experiences
Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) are experiences in childhood that build a child’s sense of belongingness and connection.
Types of PCEs:
The list of Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) are:
Feel able to talk with family about your feelings
Feel that your family stood by you during difficult times
Enjoy participating in community traditions
Feel a sense of belonging in high school
Feel supported by friends
Have at least two non-parent adults who took a genuine interest in you
Feel safe and protected by an adult in your home
The more PCEs a child has, the more likely they are to be healthy and resilient.
In 2019, a team of researchers found a dose-response association between positive childhood experiences and adult mental and relationship health among adults who had experienced ACEs, irrespective of how many ACEs they had.
This means that it's really important to have positive childhood experiences, no matter how much adversity you have in your life. And if you have a lot of adversity and a lot of positive childhood experiences, you are less likely to suffer the consequences of ACEs. However if you have no positive childhood experiences and few ACEs, the consequences of the ACEs are more likely to appear.