Adverse Child Experiences (ACEs) | Trauma Informed Care

Research on the biology of stress shows how major adversity, such as extreme poverty, abuse, or neglect in early childhood, can weaken developing brain architecture and permanently set the body's stress response system on high alert. Science also shows that providing stable, responsive, nurturing relationships in the earliest years of life can prevent or even reverse the damaging effects of early life stress, with lifelong benefits for learning, behavior, and health.

Resources on Adverse Child Events (ACEs)

ACEs Primer Video
This 5-minute video explains the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and research that revealed the link between childhood trauma and the adult onset of chronic disease, mental illness, violence, and being a victim of violence. 

CDC ACEs Webpage
This website contains information on the original ACE study, definitions, demographics, significant findings, current data, journal articles, additional resources, and presentation graphics. 

The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative- Childhood Trauma and Positive Health
The mission of the CAHMI is to promote the early and lifelong health of children, youth, and families. They disseminate data, information, and ideas to understand and address social determinants of health, like adverse childhood experiences and the trauma and chronic and toxic stress that can result in and impact lifelong health.  

Harvard University Center for the Developing Child Resource Library
Contains multiple articles, fact sheets, and videos on the following topics: 

Toxic Stress
Overview of the effects of toxic stress on children's health. 

InBrief: The Impact of Early Adversity on Children's Development
Summarizes research on how major adversity, such as extreme poverty, abuse, or neglect, impacts the developing brain and body's stress response system and how we can impact positive change through relationships.

How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime
Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains how the repeated stress of abuse, neglect, parents struggling with mental health, or substance abuse issues affect brain development. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who've experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. It is a call to action for health professionals.

How to Implement Trauma-informed Care to Build Resilience to Childhood Trauma
This brief summarizes current practices for implementing trauma-informed care to support children who have been exposed to trauma for schools, medical providers, and social services.

Issue Brief: A national and across-state profile on adverse childhood experiences among children and possibilities to heal and thrive
A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health national and across-state profile on Adverse Childhood Experiences among U.S. children and possibilities to heal and thrive. 

Sesame Street in Communities
Includes videos, storybooks, and digital activities that are research-driven and produced in consultation with experts in childhood development, brain development, and trauma to lessen the impact of traumatic experiences on young children. In addition to content for children, providers can find professional development resources and adult content, 

Resources for Creating Trauma-Sensitive Classrooms and Schools

Trauma-Sensitive Schools Learning Modules 
Provides 14 learning modules for creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools (TSS). This initiative is modeled after the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) school improvement process. (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction) 

See Also:

Page Updated 5/17/23