Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) can last a lifetime, but they don't have to.
Early exposure to family violence, abusive treatment, neglect, alcohol and drug abuse, or separated/divorced parents can lead to health and social problems, risk-taking behaviors and a shortened lifespan. Safe, stable and nurturing relationships and communities can break the cycle of abuse and maltreatment.
The ACE Study is an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and Kaiser Permanente. Led by Co-principal Investigators Robert F. Anda, MD,
MS, and Vincent J. Felitti, MD, the ACE Study is perhaps the largest scientific research study
of its kind, analyzing the relationship between multiple categories of childhood trauma
(ACEs), and health and behavioral outcomes later in life.
Growing up experiencing any of the following conditions in the household prior to age 18:
Recurrent physical abuse
Recurrent emotional abuse
Contact sexual abuse
An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the
An incarcerated household member
Someone who is chronically depressed,
mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
Mother is treated violently
One or no parents
Emotional or physical neglect
The ACE Score
The ACE Study used a simple scoring method to determine the extent of each study
participant's exposure to childhood trauma. Exposure to one category (not incident) of ACE,
qualifies as one point. When the points are added up, the ACE Score is achieved. An ACE
Score of 0 (zero) would mean that the person reported no exposure to any of the categories
of trauma listed as ACEs above. An ACE Score of 9 would mean that the person reported
exposure to all of the categories of trauma listed above. The ACE Score is referred to
throughout all of the peer-reviewed publications about the ACE Study findings.
Ask a Child Trauma Expert
Ask a Child Trauma Expert An Eight, Arizona PBS Production
Watch online >
Childhood trauma can take many forms. It can be neglect or physical, emotional or sexual abuse. It can also be the loss of a parent or mental illness of a loved one. Childhood trauma can cause lasting psychological harm, but help is available. Experts in all areas of childhood trauma will be in the studio taking viewer phone calls Wednesday, Sept. 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at 1-888-329-7088
A public service of Eight made possible by First Things First; Association of Supportive Child Care; Phoenix Children's Hospital; St. Luke's Health Initiative; Department of Economic Security Division of Children, Youth & Families; Southwest Human Development; and Child Crisis Center.
This program in Eight's ongoing Ask An Arizona Expert community engagement initiative explores the value of forgiveness and the positive impact it can have on people's lives. The special discusses the role of forgiveness in the prevention and healing process.
Viewers called 1-888-329-7088 or instant messaged the ACE Consortium on Facebook between 5:30pm and 10pm and asked local experts specific questions for appropriate resources.
The panel of experts included in the show:
Eileen Borris, Ed.D. – a clinical & political psychologist in private practice who specializes in forgiveness issues
Douglas Kelley, Ph.D. – Associate Professor at Arizona State University who studies forgiveness-seeking communication