In the late 1990’s researchers (Felitti et al., 1998) at the Center for Disease Control – Kaiser Permanente discovered, initially quite by accident, that adverse childhood experiences were more common than previously thought and that such experiences were correlated with risks for later life social and health problems. In fact, they proposed that childhood maltreatment was the leading cause of preventable mental illness. Although it has taken time for this research to become recognized, the findings have resonated with those working in community services – mental health, child welfare, education, probation & parole, to name a few. Understanding the impact of complex or developmental trauma informs how we can change the trauma trajectory. We understand more now than we ever did before about how to support individuals, families, and communities impacted by ACES.
Felitti, V., Anda, R., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D., Spitz, A., Edwards, V., Koss, M., and Marks, J., Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults, American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 1998, Volume 14, pages 245–258.
More detailed information about the study can be found in “Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults,” published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 1998, Volume 14, pages 245–258.
Learn more about how understanding ACES can help to provide an opportunity to make important changes in this recent New York Times article by David Bornstein Putting the Power of Self-Knowledge to Work
Learn more about how others are using the ACES research to develop programs and policies with positive results at ACES CONNECTION