Adverse Childhood Experiences
ACE stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences which occur prior to your 18th birthday. Examples of adverse childhood experiences are physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as physical and emotional neglect. They also include, having a parent who is mentally ill, an alcoholic or substance abuser, in jail, or a victim of domestic violence, as well as the absence of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment. These are all ACEs.
Research has shown that traumatic, or stressful events in childhood (ACEs), injure a child’s brain, impairing the brain’s physical development and function. ACEs may cause kids to have difficulties learning, making friends, and trusting adults.
Your health could be impacted by your childhood experiences.
As adults, these experiences don’t go away. Multiple stressful events in childhood, may resurface in adulthood. The ACE Study found a stunning link between multiple stressful events in childhood (ACEs) and chronic diseases, as well as social, emotional and behavioral problems. These included heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases, as well as depression, mental illness, suicide, and being a victim of violence.
Each type of trauma counts as one. At least 70% of our population has an ACE score of at least one. As your ACE score increases, so does the risk of disease, social and emotional problems.
Your ACE Score
There are 10 types of stressful events in childhood in the ACE Study.
Five are Personal
Five are Related to Other Family Members
absence of a parent though divorce, death or abandonment
a mother or stepmother who was treated violently
a household member who abused alcohol or drugs
a household member who was diagnosed with a mental illness
a household member who went to prison
Each type of event counts as one point of your ACE Score.
Learn your score.
0 of 10 questions completed
Learn how to Build Resilience to a high ACE score.
You have already completed the quiz before. Hence you can not start it again.
Quiz is loading...
You must sign in or sign up to start the quiz.
You have to finish following quiz, to start this quiz:
0 of 10 questions answered correctly
Time has elapsed
You have reached 0 of 0 points, (0)
1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?Correct
2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?Correct
3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?Correct
4. Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?Correct
5. Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?Correct
6. Was a biological parent ever lost to you through divorce, abandonment, or other reason?Correct
7. Was your mother or stepmother: Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?Correct
8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?Correct
9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?Correct
10. Did a household member go to prison?Correct
I know my ACE Score...
What Do I Do Now?
Find out more HERE.
The higher the ACE Score is, the more likely a person is to experience an increased risk for the following health problems and diseases:
• Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
• Illicit Drug Use
• Early Initiation of Smoking
• Early Initiation of Sexual Activity
• Adolescent Pregnancy
• Multiple Sexual Partners
• Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
• Unintended Pregnancies
• Fetal Death
• Risk for Intimate Partner Violence
• Suicide Attempts
• Health-Related Quality of Life
• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
• Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD)
• Liver Disease
*Note: Of course, there are many other types of stressful childhood events — watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver (grandmother, mother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident or experiencing a natural disaster, etc. The ACE Study includes the 10 most common stressful childhood events experienced by the 17,000 participants in the Kaiser ACE Study. These 10 stressful childhood events have been well studied in research literature. Your ACE score is meant to be a guideline. If you experienced other types of toxic stress as a child, over months or years, these events would likely increase your risk of disease, social and emotional problems in adulthood.
Join the Local ACEs Connection Network and Share your Stories of Resilience: Buncombe County ACEs Connection Group