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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)

Completed Project

Calendar icon Children and Young People

Folder icon Jan - Dec 2019

GCPH has previously undertaken research into, and activities around, ‘adverse childhood experiences’ (ACEs).This term was originally developed in the context of a US study published in 1998. ACEs refer to stressful events experienced during childhood such as abuse, neglect, family conflict, parental imprisonment, mental illness or addiction. 

ACEs have become a research and policy priority in recent years (although not without some criticism). Our own research (a systematic review of international evidence published in 2019) emphasised that the risk of ACEs was itself clearly associated with socioeconomic conditions in childhood (e.g. childhood poverty), suggesting that ACEs are best understood as lying on the causal pathway between such ‘fundamental’ socioeconomic causes, and adverse outcomes. 

Our infographics below summarise what ACEs are and some of the helpful approaches and actions that can be taken. 

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