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The relationship between childhood socioeconomic position and ACEs

Date: February 2020
Category: Summary
Author: GCPH

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This short summary provides an overview of a systematic review we conducted to better understand the relationship between the socioeconomic circumstances in which children are raised and their risk of experiencing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

The review included all the literature published since 1998 which explicitly examined the relationship between childhood socioeconomic position (SEP) and the risk of experiencing ACEs. The key finding from the review was that virtually all the evidence published to date shows a clear association between childhood SEP and ACEs. However, it also showed that the role of childhood SEP is under-researched in understanding ACEs and so not embedded into the understanding of what causes ACEs and the related policy discussions. 

The review concludes that any policy approach to address ACEs must both support those currently affected by childhood adversity and also prevent further adversity by addressing poverty and socioeconomic inequality. 

The research was conducted with colleagues at NHS Health Scotland and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.