There’s a growing public health issue that you may not have heard of: Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs.
ACEs are potentially traumatic experiences and events, ranging from abuse and neglect to living with an adult with mental illness. According to Child Trends, they can have lasting effects on health and well-being in childhood and later in life.
Economic hardship and divorce or separation of a parent or guardian are the most common ACEs reported nationally and in all states.
Forty-five percent of U.S. children have experienced at least one ACE. One in ten children has experienced three or more ACEs – these children are especially high risk.
However, research shows that in addition to loving and supportive relationships, a child’s adaptive skills – like managing their emotions – can lead to positive outcomes.