Coalition Resources

Adverse Childhood Experiences

There is a broad and growing body of research linking adverse childhood experiences to a host of lifelong problematic outcomes including chronic disease, behavioral problems and early death. The initial research in 1998 quantified adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by assigning what is known as an "ACE score" that enumerates 10 distinct kinds of childhood adversity.

ACE scores have a strong and graded relationship with alcohol abusei , drug abuseii , smokingiii , depressive disordersiv , hallucinationsv , and pathological gamblingvi.

Of the 10 components of the ACE score, five are related to child maltreatment. Child maltreatment has a rigorous body of research identifying risk and protective factors and many overlap with the risk and protective factors associated with substance abuse, problem gambling, suicide, and mental health disorders.

Learn more in SAMHSA's ACEs resources.

i Dube, Miller, et al, 2006
ii Dube, Felitti, et al, 2003
iii Ford, Anda et al, 2011
iv Chapman, Anda, et al, 2004
v Whitfield, Dube, et al, 2005
vi Sharma & Sacco, 2015