The Main Causes Of Childhood Trauma :
A major study into the effects of childhood trauma, the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study, which provided overwhelming evidence of the link between childhood trauma and the later development of various psychiatric illnesses, physical illness, and violent behaviour, considered the following ten events/experiences to be representative of the most traumatic a child is likely to experience and, therefore, to be the main causes of childhood trauma and its potentially devastating consequences that, without effective therapy, can endure for an entire lifetime.
1) Growing up in a household in which a parent/primary caregiver is an alcoholic/chronic abuser of narcotics
2) Growing up in a household in which a parent/primary caregiver goes to prison
3) Growing up in a household in which a parent/primary caregiver has a diagnosable psychiatric condition, such as major depression
4) Growing up in a home in which the mother is physically abused by the father/her partner
5) Experiencing emotional abuse
6) Experiencing sexual abuse
7) Experiencing physical abuse
8) Losing a parent through death/ divorce/separation
9) Experiencing emotional neglect
10) Experiencing physical neglect (e.g. children who are inadequately fed or inadequately clothed).
Through my whole childhood, including first living with my (highly unstable) mother and (emotionally constipated) father, then with just my mother, then with my mother and her (schizophrenic/alcoholic/jail-bird) live-in lover, then with my father and (religious crackpot, ‘tongue-speaking’, demonizing) step-mother, I’ve just calculated I experienced eight of these; not quite a full-house, admittedly. However, in this context, the term ‘full-house’ is grotesquely ironic, of course.
Some people, alas, have experienced all ten (and possibly more, as the above list is not exhaustive – it does not include, for example, the experiencing of natural disasters).
An infographic, summarizing the above and also showing prevalence (by percentage of all individuals surveyed) is displayed below:
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc, PGDE( FAHE).