How adverse childhood experiences cause problems in adulthood

I recently heard about adverse childhood experiences, known as acronym ACEs. In another article we wrote about formative years and the impact on children. ACEs are important in developing into well-functioning adults.


Adverse childhood experiences are potentially traumatic episodes that occur from birth to the age of 17 years.

These episodes can be created by the threat of violence or violence, bullying, mental, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse, family instability, family separation, financial instability, hunger, or substance abuse.


The impact of these ACEs creates stress with impaired decision making, loss of resilience, inability to cope with stress, poor performance in school, poor relationships, difficulty keeping a job in adulthood, chronic health problems, a tendency towards high risk sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted diseases, and difficulty achieving maximum potential in life.


Children must be raised in a safe and nurturing environment, and with access to quality education.

The family and household should be helped to improve financial security through the provision of well-paying jobs, access to health insurance, and food.

Parents should seek out parental classes to learn best practices to engage children.

After school mentoring programs will help children to develop their confidence and boost self esteem as well as knowledge to give them resilience against the life’s adversities.

Early intervention in the form of therapy or coaching for kids or adults impacted by ACEs.

Useful links:

Improving the social determinants of health (SDH).

Written by Dr. Onuoha.

Disclaimer: For health literacy and educational purposes, not for medical care, diagnosis or treatment.



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