Adverse Childhood Experiences

The majority of Iowans have experienced childhood adversity or Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Specific family problems as well as child abuse and neglect increase risks for serious mental and physical health issues later in life.

However, having adverse childhood experiences is not a diagnosis and does not predict negative outcomes. Most people can deal with these complex traumatic experiences with resilience and move on to lead rich, fulfilling lives. There are effective ways we can work together to help build resiliency as individuals, families, systems, and as a community to help more people reach a higher level of resiliency and well-being.

 Basic Information about ACEs:

  • Original ACEs Study: What are adverse childhood experiences and why do they matter? Groundbreaking research links child adversity to long-term mental and physical health problems.
  • Iowa ACEs Data: How prevalent are adverse childhood experiences in Iowa? A statewide survey tells us that the majority of Iowans has experienced childhood adversity.
  • The Neurobiology of Stress: This research brief provides a summary of the connection between early experiences of stress and the potential impact of those experiences on the body and developing brain.
  • Link to Iowa ACEs online learning modules: Prevent Child Abuse Iowa worked with the Iowa Department of Public Health and Quality Assist to develop the following online learning modules: 1) The ACE Study: Its Impact and Our Opportunity and 2) A Child Abuse Prevention Response to ACEs.

Building a Resilient Community:

For Educators and School Systems:

Trauma can have a profound impact on students as people and their ability to be successful in school. Students spend a significant amount of time at school. Safe and compassionate schools foster student resiliency and maximize student success.

For Parents and Caregivers:

For Faith Communities:

For Social Service and Mental Health Providers:

For Health Care Providers:

For Court, Legal, and Law Enforcement Professionals:

Contact us for more information