Excerpts* from ‘Findings on Adverse Childhood Experiences in California,’ originally prepared by The Center for Youth Wellness of San Francisco, CA.

Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, are a hidden crisis, impacting the health and wellbeing of children, families and communities across California.
Occurring during childhood, the most formative period in a person’s life, ACEs are traumatic experiences that have a profound impact on a child’s developing brain and body with lasting impacts on a person’s health and livelihood throughout their lifetime.

There are ten recognized ACEs
which fall into three general types:
abuse;
neglect;
household dysfunction.

High numbers of ACEs have long been associated with increased risk for serious health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

‘A Hidden Crisis’ is a first look at the impact of ACEs in California through four years of data collected by the annual [Statewide] California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The findings clearly illustrate that ACEs are a public health crisis with far-reaching consequences on the health and wellbeing of Californians.

KEY FINDINGS
Distribution of ACEs In California;
61.7% of all California adults have experienced at least One ACE
16.7% have experienced four or more ACEs
The most common ACE among CA adults is emotional / verbal abuse

Some comparisons county by county in CA;
75% of residents in some CA counties have at least One ACE
50% of residents in the lowest scoring counties have at least One ACE

….The prevalence of ACEs is relatively consistent across race and ethnic groups in California.

California Wide, a person with 4 or more ACEs is:
•    5.13 times as likely to suffer from depression
•    2.93 times as likely to smoke
•    3.23 times as likely to binge drink
12.2 times as likely to attempt suicide
10.3 times as likely to use injection drugs
•     7.4 times as likely to be an alcoholic
•     2.2 times as likely to have ischemic heart disease
•     2.4 times as likely to have a stroke
•     1.9 times as likely to have cancer
•     1.6 times as likely to have diabetes
•     21% more likely below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level
•     27% more likely to have less than a college degree
•      39% more likely to be unemployed

About the Center for Youth Wellness
The Center for Youth Wellness (CYW) is a health organization embedded with a primary care pediatric home serving children and families in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood in San Francisco.
We were created to respond to a new medical understanding of how early adversity harms the developing brains and bodies of children.
We prevent toxic stress by raising national awareness among those who have the power to make a difference – from parents   to pediatricians   to policymakers.
We screen every young person we see for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which we know can lead to toxic stress and poor health outcomes in life.
We heal children’s brain and bodies by piloting the best treatment for toxic stress and sharing our findings nationally.
For more information, please visit our website at   www.centerforyouthwellness.org

*In the interest of brevity, ALLACAandACE.com has edited the above version of the report from its full 32 pages, re-purposing it by pulling out enough to serve as a useful introduction to ‘what are ACEs and why are they important.’  We deliberately eliminated many wonderful but space consuming graphics and illustrations and also left out some data, while attempting to keep the content here faithful to the original report. Also, the content here has been reformatted. SM]

Click here for the FULL REPORT