WHAT WE KNOW

ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES

Adverse Childhood Experiences have been linked to poor health outcomes including but not limited to obesity, stroke and heart disease; detrimental behaviors such as substance abuse and suicide, and early death. The study also revealed that ACEs are common, as nearly two-thirds of study participants reported at least one ACE, and more than one in five reported three or more ACEs.

 

How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime | Nadine Burke Harris

HOW ACEs can impact life | Public Health Network Cymru

 

BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

SAMHSA describes trauma with a focus on three key elements.

Individual trauma results from "an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being."

In the context of brain development, trauma is not the event—it is the response to the event. Traumatic stress occurs when an experience impacts the body in a way that alters the stress response system.  

 

Experiences Build Brain Architecture Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

How Brains are Built: The Core Story of Brain Development | Alberta Family Wellness

 

RESILIENCE

According to American Psychological Association, resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors.

 

The Science of Resilience |
Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

How Resilience is Built |
Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University