Tag Archives: Ace Study

Childhood Trauma : The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) is a research study conducted by the American health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Essentially, this study demonstrated that the more traumatic our childhood was, the more risk we are at of developing adult illnesses, both PHYSICAL and MENTAL.

Specifically, the study found that the more CHILDHOOD ADVERSE EXPERIENCES (ACEs) we suffered as children, the greater our risk of developing adult illnesses.

The study focused on the following childhood ADVERSE EXPERIENCES:

– physical abuse

emotional abuse

– sexual abuse

– witnessing the mother being abused by the father

– loss/abandonment/rejection by a parent (including due to separation and divorce)

– living with a parent suffering from a pathological addiction

– living with a clinically depressed mother

– living with a mother who suffers from another significant mental illness

Effects Of Such Adverse Effects :

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Above: The Process Through Which Childhood Trauma Can Lead To Early Death.

It has been found that such adverse experiences during our childhood can lead to highly damaging effects that may be extremely detrimental to our adult health. I list the main ones below:

harmful effects on the physical development of our brain leading to architectural brain abnormalities 

– detrimental effects upon the brain’s functionality

(NB: However, the good news is that such damage can be reversible).

– adverse effects upon how our genes express themselves (genes do not express themselves in a vacuum; their expression is affected by the environment in which they exist)

– damaging effects on the operation of our stress hormones (e.g. cortisol). This can lead us to become acutely reactive to the negative effects of stress in our adult lives resulting in a proclivity for us to react with great volatility and violence (in some cases, literally) in response to such stress (even stress that others may easily be capable of taking in their stride.

– an increased risk of serious physical diseases such as heart disease

Other Types Of Trauma:

I have already listed, above, the types of trauma that the ACE Study focused upon. However, continued research is demonstrating that is there traumatic childhood experiences, too, can impinge detrimentally upon both our physical and mental adult health; these include the following:

– growing up in severe poverty

– growing up environments in which there is little stimulation

parental neglect (including emotional neglect)

– growing up in a violent environment

– growing up in an environment in which gang culture predominates

– being bullied at school

(The above list is NOT exhaustive.)

RESOURCE :

Overcome a Troubled Childhood | Self Hypnosis Downloads. Click Here.

eBooks :

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Above ebooks now available for instant download on Amazon. Click here.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE( FAHE).

What Are The Negative Effecrs Of Childhood Trauma?

 

 

One thing from the research is clear: the experience of childhood trauma makes it more likely the individual will suffer problems as an adult. Abuse does not, though, necessarily lead to severe problems, but makes a person more VULNERABLE to them in later life.

THE MORE SEVERE AND REPEATED THE ABUSE THE MORE LIKELY THE INDIVIDUAL WILL DEVELOP PROBLEMS LATER.

However, if the child also has good experiences in childhood this can serve to build up RESILIENCE, diminishing the negative effects of abuse.

For resilience to develop, it is particularly important that the child does not blame him or herself for the abuse.

COMMON NEGATIVE EFFECTS RESULTING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA:

Survivors of childhood abuse are much more likely to hold an array of negative beliefs. Their view of themselves and their general outlook tend to be negative. British Psychologist Professor Jehu summarized the kinds of negative beliefs held:

 

BELIEFS ABOUT SELF:

  • I am unusual / odd / weird
  • I am bad
  • I am worthless
  • I am to blame

BELIEFS ABOUT OTHERS:

  • Others are untrustworthy
  • Others will reject me

BELIEFS ABOUT THE FUTURE:

THE EFFECTS OF ABUSE ON THINKING PROCESSES:

Research on this has led to two main findings:

1) Those who have been abused tend to DETACH (or ‘space/zone out’) more than the average person. This is known as DISSOCIATION. It can involve cutting off from emotions or feeling ‘unreal’. Sometimes, if the original trauma was especially adverse and distressing, it might be REPRESSED (‘blanked out’ from memory). READ MORE ABOUT TRAUMA AND MEMORY BY CLICKING HERE.

Survivors are sometimes driven by their pain to INTENTIONALLY dissociate by:

2) Survivors of abuse are much more sensitive to abuse-related triggers. This is a kind of defense mechanism: by being hyper-alert to possible danger, the person is more able to protect him or herself. However, if as an adult there is much lower risk, this oversensitivity can severely interfere with the person’s quality of life.

THERAPY :

COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY is an evidence-based therapy that research suggests can help us to overcome erroneous negative beliefs.

For those who have suffered such serious childhood trauma that they go on to develop borderline personality disorder, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan, is often recommended, as is EMDR.

 

RESOURCE :

Overcome Being Unloved As A Child | Self Hypnosis Downloads

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Childhood Trauma Recovery