Professional Resources

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) were identified as having a major long term impact on health outcomes following a large scale study in the USA.

In the 1990’s Felitti and Anda from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) carried out a study of childhood trauma experiences of over 17,000 patient volunteers. All had jobs and good health care, because they were members of the Kaiser Health Maintenance Organisation. Participants were asked about the the 10 types of childhood trauma that had been identified in earlier research literature. Findings from the study showed;

    • 2 in 3 participants had an ACE score of 1 or more
    • 1 in 6 had an ACE score of 4 or more
    • 1 in 11 had an ACE score of 6 or more

Findings also showed that a higher prevalence of aces had a higher likelihood of subsequent risky & damaging behaviours including;

    • Substance misuse
    • Teen pregnancy
    • Poor physical and mental health including; diabetes, liver disease, heart and lung disease.

Ultimately ACEs resulted in diminished life chances. They reduced life expectancy by up to 20 years for the cohort. The study’s group were relatively well educated yet this did not protect them from the adverse outcomes of their childhood experiences.

Dive Deeper

In Professional Settings

ACEs have been widely recognised as an opportunity to target early interventions for children and families – allowing resources to be focussed on reducing adverse childhood experiences and mitigating their impact.

Settings can play an important role in this by;

  • Highlighting those children whose experiences might suggest would benefit from early intervention.
  • Being curious about why a child behaves in the way they do – be that the quietest or the loudest in the class, the bully or the bullied.
  • Using Early Help and Children’s Services threshold guidance to ensure children at risk are identified and safeguarded.



'All Our Health' offer free, bite-sized e-learning sessions - to improve the knowledge, confidence and skills of health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing. The sessions cover some of the biggest issues in public health including;

  • Childhood obesity 
  • Pollution
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

They contain signposting to trusted sources of helpful evidence, guidance and support to help professionals embed prevention in their everyday practice.

How Can Norfolk & Waveney Children & Young People's Health Services Help?

Log In / Create An Account

Forgot password?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Was This Page Helpful

Latest from Twitter