Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Leveraging the Best Available Evidence

Published: 2019
Available from: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
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Abstract: This report describes Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years) such as experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect; witnessing violence in the home; and having a family member attempt or die by suicide. It explains preventing ACEs is a priority for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and provides information on how ACEs influence health and opportunity. It then notes CDC has produced Technical Packages to help communities and States prioritize prevention activities with the greatest potential for impact, and highlights strategies across the CDC Technical Packages that can prevent ACEs from happening in the first place as well as strategies to mitigate the harms of ACEs. These strategies include: strengthening economic supports for families, promoting social norms that protect against violence and adversity, ensuring a strong start for children and paving the way for them to reach their full potential, teaching skills to help parents and youth handle stress, manage emotions, and tackle everyday challenges, connecting youth to caring adults and activities, and intervening to lessen immediate and long-term harms. The evidence base for each strategy is provided and the role of different public sectors in preventing ACEs is explained. The final section of the report reviews the need for monitoring and evaluation of the public health approach to prevention. 142 references.