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Findings from the Philadelphia Urban ACE Survey

Public Health Management Corporation. Research and Evaluation Group – 2013

This report presents the findings from a survey that investigated the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) of 1,784 Philadelphia residents that was conducted between November 2012 and January 2013. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish and included both landlines and cell phones. The average length of interviews was approximately 12 minutes. Findings indicate: 33.2% of Philadelphia adults experienced emotional abuse and 35% experienced physical abuse during their childhood; approximately 35% of adults grew up in a household with a substance-abusing member, 24.1% lived in a household with someone who was mentally ill, and 12.9% lived in a household with someone who served time or was sentenced to serve time in prison; Black adults were more likely to have grown up in a household with where someone abused substances (37.8%) compared to White adults (30.7%), and were also more likely to have grown up in a household where they witnessed domestic violence (20.7%) or a household member went to or was sentenced to prison (15.9%) compared to White adults; 40.5% of Philadelphia adults witnessed violence while growing up, which includes seeing or hearing someone being beaten, stabbed or shot; over one-third (34.5%) of adults reported experiencing discrimination based on their race or ethnicity, while almost three in ten adults (27.3%) reported having felt unsafe in their neighborhoods or not trusting their neighbors during childhood; and overall, over 37% of Philadelphia respondents reported four or more ACEs. The report concludes the findings suggest the need for services that address the unique environmental stressors experienced in urban neighborhoods to mitigate their impact on individuals and prevent ACEs. 12 references.

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