Assessing Your Exposure to Childhood Trauma
Risk factors for disease, disability and early mortality are not randomly distributed. Research shows some of the worst health and social problems can arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) is a research study of more than 17,000 middle class Americans, recruited between 1995 and 1997. They all received a standardized physical examination and provided detailed personal information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction.
The group was tracked for long-term health outcomes.
By taking a whole life perspective, the ACE study began to uncover how adverse childhood experiences are strongly related to an individual’s development and prevalence to risk factors for disease and health and social well-being.
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) report trauma to include very frightening or distressing situations or events which may result in psychological wound or injury with a difficulty in coping or functioning normally. Everyone’s reaction is different, many will recover but some do develop problems. These problems can emerge well after the event/s.
The APS include the following in their list of situations and events that can lead a person to experience psychological trauma: acts of violence such as an armed robbery, war or terrorism, interpersonal violence such as rape, child abuse, or suicide of a family member or friend, natural disasters such as bushfire, earthquake or floods, and involvement in a serious motor vehicle or workplace accident.