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Adverse Childhood Experiences Assessment – what is it and why do we use it?

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

At bMindful Psychology we utilise a number of psychological and sensory assessments to inform the strategies and interventions of therapeutic care. In conjunction with the other assessments, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Assessment helps provide an overview of a child’s background and is useful in completing a psychological formulation as well as guiding intervention strategies.Our infographic below provides a quick overview of the areas assessed and the possible negative outcomes of a higher ACEs result.


What are Adverse Childhood Experiences? (ACEs)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are “highly stressful, and potentially traumatic, events or situations that occur during childhood and/or adolescence. They can be a single event, or prolonged threats to, and breaches of, the young person’s safety, security, trust, or bodily integrity.” (Young Minds, 2018).


Examples of ACEs:

Physical abuse

Sexual Abuse

Emotional Abuse

Neglect

Living with someone who abused drugs

Living with someone who abused alcohol

Exposure to domestic violence

Living with someone who has gone to prison

Living with someone with serious mental illness

Losing a parent through divorce, death, or abandonment / or entering into care


What can they tell us?

Compared with people with no ACEs, those with 4+ ACEs are:

2 times more likely to currently binge drink or have a poor diet

3 times more likely to be a current smoker

4 times more likely to have had sex while under 16 years old or to have smoked cannabis

4 times more likely to have had or caused unintended teenage pregnancy

8 times more likely to have been a victim of violence in the last year or ever been incarcerated

10 times more likely to have been a perpetrator of violence in the last year

Source: Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, 2016

For more information please visit:

Information about the original ACEs study- PII: S0749-3797(98)00017-8 (ajpmonline.org)

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