The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study is huge and looks at the common stressful traumas that adversely affect the neurodevelopment of children.
These are the stressors:
-Alcohol abuse in the family
-emotional, physical and sexual abuse
-witnessing domestic violence
-growing up with substance abusing, mentally ill, or criminal adults
The studies were conducted with 17, 337 predominately middle class, educated, members of two large USA medical care programmes over a period of 10 years.
ACEs have a strong influence on adolescent health. These are the following:
– teen pregnancy
– alcohol abuse
– illicit drug abuse
– sexual behaviour
– mental health
– risk of revictimization
– stability of relationships
– performance in the workforce.
ACEs increase the risk in adults of the following physical diseases:
-chronic lung disease
-HIV and STDs
-other risks for the leading causes of death
The ACE Study makes clear the importance of intervention early in children’s lives to prevent lifelong emotional and physical ailments.
Imagine the impact on our society if we intervened early and prevented a generation from passing on childhood stressors to succeeding generations.
Think of the suffering and misery we could avoid—not to mention the enormous cost of treating diseases that could be avoided. Then there’s the high rate of job absenteeism because of sickness. All this could be eliminated just by taking good care of our children.