Lingras, Katherine, Fabre, Barb, Greifer, Maya, Sheikh, Kiran, University of Minnesota Extension. Extension Center for Family Development. Children, Youth & Family Consortium – 2019
This report summarizes current research on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and explores how this research effects the daily work of professionals and experiences with children and their families. It begins by explaining the three categories of ACEs: childhood abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional), neglect (physical and emotional), and household dysfunction during childhood (parental mental illness, incarcerated relative, mother treated violently, parental substance abuse, and parental separation). It explains ACEs are common, tend to cluster, and are cumulative, and research findings that indicate that people who had experienced one or more ACEs had an increased risk of experiencing negative health behaviors and diseases in adulthood. ACE research limitations are then discussed and consider ACEs are not always traumatic, ACEs questionnaires lack contextual meaning and do not address resilience or the presence of protective factors, little is known about how ACEs are understood and perceived across various contexts, cultures, and communities, and the presence of ACEs does not encapsulate the experience of historical trauma. Finally, implications of ACEs for practitioners working with families are discussed, including implications for early intervention services, home visiting programs, effortful control and executive functioning skills training, positive parenting skills, and social-emotional skills and/or social competence. The report includes the recommendations from professionals for practice and policy.