Today we are continuing our focus on children by exploring adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. ACEs are traumatic events that occur in childhood (ages 0-17) that impact a person’s brain development and can have a lasting effect on their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing into adulthood.
ACEs may include abuse, neglect, or being in a household with challenges related to poverty, mental illness, violence, and incarceration. According to the CDC
, about 61% of adults surveyed across 25 states reported that they had experienced at least one type of ACE, and nearly 1 in 6 reported they had experienced four or more types of ACEs. Take the quiz in Option 2 below to find your own ACE score.
While all children experience ACEs, for communities of color ACE exposure is disproportionately high. An analysis by The Child & Adolescent Health Initiative
shows that 6 in 10 Black children have ACEs, representing 17.4% of all children in the US with ACEs. This information connects to the Racial Equity Challenge Day 7 and 9 readings relating to health outcomes, and how Black and Latino people are more likely to experience the negative health effects brought upon by trauma, racism, and inequity.
The good news…ACEs do not define who you are. A deeper understanding of how ACEs impact young people, and the support of caring adults in their lives, can help them find strength and resiliency.