ACE Study

Research indicates that child abuse is a major public health concern contributing to acute injury, chronic illness, disability, and death. Dr. Vincent Felitti, in his study of 18,000 adults, demonstrated a significant health link between self-reported adverse childhood experiences and severe obesity, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and a host of stress-related ailments. His study demonstrated that decreasing layers of trauma in childhood experiences significantly decreases health problems that occur later in life (Felitti, 2004). In the state of Utah alone, approximately 1 billion is spent annually caring for illnesses of those who were abused as children (Utah Child Abuse Prevention Task Force, 2005).

The following chart shows the sequence of events that unaddressed childhood abuse and other early traumatic experiences set in motion. Without intervention, adverse childhood events (ACES) result in long-term disease, disability, chronic social problems and early death. Importantly, intergeneration transmission that perpetuates ACES will continue without implementation of interventions to interrupt the cycle.

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Health and Well - Being over the Lifespan