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Childhood Trauma and Positive Health: Issue Brief [downloadable]

little-girl-2198058_640The mission of The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI) is to promote the early and lifelong health of children, youth and families. Part of fulfilling this mission it to disseminate data, information and ideas to understand and address social determinants of health, like adverse childhood experiences and the trauma and chronic and toxic stress that can result and impact lifelong health.

An issue brief on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and well-being includes national and state-level data on the prevalence of ACEs—a range of experiences that can lead to trauma and toxic stress and impact children’s brain development and physical, social, mental, emotional, and behavioral health and well-being—as well as health effects and protective factors that mitigate the effects of trauma.

All findings reported here are based on analysis of data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). In 2016, 34 million children, nearly half of all U.S. children ages 0-17, had at least one of nine ACEs, and more than 20 percent experienced two or more.


A few key findings:
  • The rate of children across U.S. states with one or more of nine ACEs assessed varies from 38.1 percent to 55.9 percent. Those with two or more ACEs varies from15.0 percent to 30.6 percent. Most children with any one ACE had at least one other, ranging from 54.4 percent to 95.4 percent.
  • ACEs are prevalent among children with both public and private health insurance coverage. Nearly two-thirds of publicly insured children have ACEs (65.2 percent), yet they represent 45 percent of children with ACEs.
  • ACEs are also common across all income groups, though 58 percent of U.S. children with ACEs live in homes with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Black children are disproportionately represented among children with ACEs. Six in 10 have ACEs and represent 17.4 percent of all children in the United States with ACEs.
Social and emotional skills, along with school attendance and engagement, are important predictors of lifelong health and well-being for children. Most children will experience a social, emotional, or school engagement challenge at some point. Yet those with ACEs face greater risks and challenges. Knowing this changes how we support children with challenges.


Download a PDF of the issue brief, A National and Across-State Profile on Adverse Childhood Experiences Among U.S. Children and Possibilities to Heal and Thrive.
Source: The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative | Childhood Trauma and Positive Health, http://www.cahmi.org/projects/adverse-childhood-experiences-aces  | Brief release date October 2017

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