ACE - Adverse Childhood Experiences

Jul 12, 2017
Dr. George Tilll
ACE - Adverse Childhood Experiences

I’ve spoken about the  Adverse Childhood Experience Study multiple times  this year.  The very large study identifies 10 categories of adverse experiences, 3 types of abuse, 2 types of neglect and 5 types of family dysfunction.  Each category has a roughly equivalent negative effect on lifelong health and wellbeing.  The more categories experienced, the more likely one is to have chronic diseases, poor educational outcomes,  poor work performance,  poverty,  incarceration, and premature death.  The effect is so strong that an individual who has experienced 7 of these categories of ACE has a life expectancy reduced nearly 20 years.  ACEs are common in Vermont with the majority of Vermonters having at least one ACE and 14% having four or more ACEs.  Adverse Childhood Experiences cut across all socio economic groups.  In the lowest earning quartile of Vermonters, 18% of people have four or more ACEs.  In the highest earning quartile of Vermonters,  11% have four or more ACEs.  The problem is multigenerational and there are evidence based interventions which work best at young ages and in the context of the family.