What are ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)?

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The acronym ACE stands for adverse childhood experiences that are traumatic that involve abuse or neglect. These experiences are distinguished as either positive or negative experiences that cause an impact on a child. The impact of adverse childhood experiences is detrimental to their well-being, health, and opportunity. Through this study, it is stressed that childhood experience has a remarkable impact on future violence victimization and perpetration. The inquiry that arises from this is how child neglect or abuse affects them, what risk factors are increased, and how to prevent this by understanding the life course perspective.

According to the CDC-Kaiser ACE study conducted at Kaiser Permanente, childhood abuse and neglect affects an individual’s later-life health and well-being tremendously. Adverse childhood experiences cause a disruption in a child’s neurodevelopment causing a turning point in a child’s life. This causes a social, emotional, and cognitive impairment that soon evolved into the adoption of health-risk behaviors. The result of these health-risk behaviors increases the likelihood of an individual dying early due to the cause of disease, disability, and social problems. This study discussed the types of abuse such as sexual, physical, emotional and the types of neglect such as emotional or physical. Another experience may include household challenges a child may experience such as domestic violence, household substance abuse, mental illness in household, divorce, and a criminal household member. All these experiences may affect a child and increase risk factors. These risk factors that involve health-risk behaviors are alcohol abuse, illicit drug use, poor work performance, smoking, suicide attempts, unintended pregnancies, and poor academic achievement. These adopted behaviors have shown an increase in liver disease, heart disease, stress, depression, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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When applying this study to the life course perspective, it provides insight into why an individual may be dealing with such risk factors or may choose to adopt certain health-risk behaviors. It allows a person to recognize any underlying factors whether they are environmental, psychological, or biological. Also, it allows a person to analyze and understand people’s lives structurally, socially, and culturally. It allows a person to understand why an individual may be behaving a certain way by keeping in mind the circumstances of environment and time. This allows prevention to happen when understanding the time and the child’s critical developmental stages. A child goes through a developmental stage where they are dealing with finding their own identity, role confusion, and attachment. If a child has a traumatic life experience at this stage of vulnerability, it can affect them detrimentally and increase the adoption of health-risk behaviors. Understanding the attachment theory allows more emphasis on supervision and pediatric care when dealing with a younger child. Childhood attachment to the caregiver can affect adaptation whether it is a secure relationship or not. Supervising the child and the caregiver’s relationship can be a prevention method to observe the bonding between the two. When thinking about how the environment plays a role, we can think about the types of environments a child may face daily today. Environmental changes such as natural causes or lack of school security can negatively affect a child’s life growing up. For example, a natural cause can ultimately cause that child to lose any valuables including inanimate objects or loved ones and fall into poverty. Lack of school security can cause a child to feel unsafe at all times in the facility and make them feel as if they are always targeted by classmates or even teachers. These aspects all correlate with how these experiences affect them as an adult which explains such an increase of severe risk factors. From this, we can understand a person themselves and determine why they are more likely to have such risk factors. Also, we can understand the wide range and different types of adverse childhood experiences and how to act upon them.

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What are ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)?. (2021, Apr 10). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/what-are-aces-adverse-childhood-experiences/