ACE – Adverse Childhood Experiences
There is well-documented and extensively researched predictor for the severity of chronic illnesses called ACE, or Adverse Childhood Experiences. The scoring system consists of 10 questions that explore dysfunction in one’s childhood home: parental separation and death, incidents of domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness, criminal behavior, and psychological, physical, and emotional abuse and neglect during childhood.
A score of 4 or more correlates with increased risk of depression, substance abuse, cardiovascular events, diabetes, suicide and even Alzheimer’s. ACE’s can affect the development of the brain of a child, hormone production, the immune system and even expression of our DNA. Roughly 16% of the US population has a score of 4 or above.
If you’re curious about your own score, here is a link for the questionnaire:
Take the ACE Quiz
TED talk introduction to ACE’s:
How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime
IMHU has several courses aimed at helping children and young people cultivate resilience and wellbeing: