Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, continue to affect people in adulthood. Many adults with emotional issues don’t realize that the traumatic experiences from their childhood are at the root of their problems. And they certainly don’t understand that those incidents changed the way their brain functions, which further contributes to their ongoing mental health issues.
Researchers have spent decades investigating the impact of ACEs on mental and cognitive well-being. Nearly 30 years ago, scientists at Kaiser Permanente teamed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a large study1 involving 17,337 adult participants.
The research team sought to identify how many ACEs they had experienced in addition to their lasting effects. The study included 8 questions regarding abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and more. Roughly 25% of the participants reported three or more ACEs.
In the decades since that landmark study, the ACE questionnaire has evolved to include ten questions covering: