ACE reports, studies & links

ACEs are Adverse Childhood Experiences, stressful or traumatic experiences that can have a significant and lasting impact on children and young people throughout their lives.

The ten widely recognised (ACEs), as identified in a US study from the 1990s, include:


  • physical

  • sexual

  • verbal



  • emotional

  • physical


Growing up in a household where:

  • there are adults with alcohol and drug use problems

  • there are adults with mental health problems

  • there is domestic violence

  • there are adults who have spent time in prison

  • parents have separated


Around half of all adults living in England have experienced at least one form of adversity in their childhood or adolescence

There are other types of childhood adversity that can have similar negative long-term effects to these 10 denied ACEs. These include bereavement, bullying, poverty and community adversities such as living in a deprived area, neighbourhood violence etc.

ACEs matter because adversity in childhood can create harmful levels of stress which impact healthy brain development.  This can result in long-term effects on learning, behaviour and health.

There is also an association with ACEs and a range of poorer health and social outcomes in adulthood, and a corresponding correlation with increased risk.

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A Crying Shame

A report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner into vulnerable babies in England.

Nearly 16,000 babies are growing up in households where they are at risk of severe harm, a report by England’s Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, warns.

The report says that of 19,640 under-ones identified as being “in need”, 15,820 were still living at home.

It also estimates that 8,300 babies are growing up amid the “toxic trio” of drug or alcohol addiction, domestic violence and severe mental ill-health.

Our staff member Dawn Cretney posts ACEs relevant links here:

Types of ACEs (Adverse Childood Experiences), health risks of childhood adversity, Toxic Stress and Trauma explained: and-cancer-have-in-common-maybe-childhood-trauma

People who were abused as children are more likely to be abused as an adult:

Animation (Wales and Blackburn with Darwen collaboration):


Blackburn with Darwen link:

Scotland: Polishing the Diamonds report:

Public Health Institute ACE case study conducted by Liverpool John Moores University:

Attachment Aware Schools:

Work of Dr Nadine Burke Harris:

Clips of Nadine Burke Harris (shortened versions of ACEs):

Twitter links: @eycic        @Acehubwales        @AcesScotland         @suzannezeedyk