Insights into What Adverse Childhood Experiences Study Teaches Us

By: Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT

On August 17th, Dr. Melissa Merrick from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided us with a unique opportunity- a chance to take an in-depth look at the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study and what it means for the future health and well-being of our children.

The following are some highlights of Dr. Merrick’s webinar:

  • Violence compromises early brain development.
  • ACEs can have lasting effects on health, behaviors, and life potential.
  • Of the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. in 2014,  7 have direct associations to early adversity.
  • Preventing child maltreatment requires understanding why some children and families are at greater risk.
  • Early adversity can literally make us sick. And, not only does early adversity affect later health, but also life opportunities that can be protective for our health.
  • Brown and colleagues (1998) documented a 19-year difference in life expectancy between those who had high (6+) versus no ACEs.
  • The exposure to violence, especially in childhood, is a public health priority.
  • CDC is committed to stopping violence before it happens. This is also known as primary prevention.
  • Violence prevention is strategic. The importance of preventing early adversity has never been clearer given the impacts of health and life opportunities that reverberates across generations.
  • Current efforts to prevent early adversity will be more successful if they broaden public and professional understanding of the links between early adversity and poverty and the structural barriers that reduce the likelihood of moving out of poverty.

Are you interested yet? For detailed information on these highlights and more interesting facts and helpful resources, check out the archived webinar here:

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