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Adverse Childhood Experiences Test (Ace Test)- Everything To Know

Last updated on 09 Dec, 2023

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) are traumatic events that occur in childhood between the age of 0 to 17 years. Aces trauma test is based on ten types of childhood trauma, and it helps to explain a person's risk for chronic disease.

A score between 1 to 3 indicates intermediate risk, whereas a score of 4 or higher indicates a high risk for toxic stress that affects the development of the brain.

Wondering how Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE can affect your life? If so, we have you covered.

Adverse Childhood Experiences are very common in the USA. About 64% of adults are known to experience one type of ACE before the age of 18. Such childhood trauma can affect how people function and their mental well-being.

This blog discusses the ACE test, ACE score as well the preventive measures for these Adverse Effects.

What Are Aces?

The traumatic events that a child faces in their childhood that threaten them are called adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). Childhood plays a great role in shaping our lives, the way we think, eat and grow is inherited from our childhood.

Adverse Childhood experiences play a negative role in our lives. These experiences create a sense of threat that affects their safety, stability, and bonding.

types-of-aces

There are also certain environmental factors that lead to Adverse Childhood Experiences.

The Traumatic Events include:

1. Facing Violence in their home or surroundings

2. Abuse such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect

3. Exploitation

4. Having a family member who attempted or died by suicide.

5. Trafficking

The Environmental Factors include:

1. Having a family where there is substance abuse.

2. Separation of parents.

3. Detention of any of the household members.

4. Having family members with mental disorders (1).

What Is The Cause Of Aces?

ACE study shows that such childhood trauma can cause toxic stress that leads to damage to the structure and functioning of the brain. It can thus further impact and slow the child's brain development.

Several Medical professionals, such as neuroscientists or pediatricians, determined that whatever a child witnesses, they record it in their brains and function accordingly.

Neuroscientists like Martin Teicher from Harvard University also found out that stress holds toxicity.

What Is The ACE Test?

The Adverse Childhood Experience Test is done to measure and find out the number of traumatic events that determine the relationship between Adult Childhood experiences and adulthood. They may include family separation and friend support. The test was done by a study conducted by Kaise Permanente and Child Development and Care (2).

Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Questionnaire- By The Anna Institute

  1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? Or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?

  2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you?

  3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever touch or have you touch their body in a sexual way?

  4. Did you often feel that no one in your family loved you or thought you were important?

  5. Did you often feel that you didn't have enough to eat or wear and had no one to protect you?

These are some of the commonly asked questions to determine a person's ACE score. One can take an ACE test by clicking here.

What Does Your Ace Score Mean?

An ACE test score between 1 to 3- Such people are at an intermediate risk of suffering from toxic stress. It also indicates that such patients have experienced at least one ACE-associated condition.

An ACE test result of 4 or above indicates a high risk of toxic stress.

Why Do You Need The Childhood Trauma Test?

It is important to identify childhood trauma as it increases the following health risks in such children-

  • Lack of Physical activity.

  • High risk of smoking.

  • Drug abuse rates are high.

  • Such people often miss work.

  • Severe obesity.

  • A higher risk of becoming an alcoholic.

  • Such people have a high risk of getting heart disease.

How Does Ace Impact Your Health?

Possible-Health-Risks-from-ACEs

Many researchers have identified how stress levels and trauma can affect a child’s brain chemistry, the architecture of the brain, and even gene expression. Every individual experiences stress at some point in life.

Early childhood is the critical stage of development. Toxic stress interferes with hormonal systems, neural systems, and immune systems, which can alter our DNA expression. This also impacts the person’s attention, behavioral expression, and wise decision-making.

The researchers have linked ACEs with a wide range of chronic diseases and behavioral challenges. Some of the diseases include Obesity, diabetes, alcoholism, weak mental health, and heart diseases that can reduce life expectancy by 20 years.

If there is a prevalence of Multiple ACEs, then the individuals are at a greater risk for negative outcomes. The outcomes might include—unemployment, poor school performance, development of health behaviors that are at high risk. These might include smoking and drug use and an increased risk for prescription opioid misuse (4).

Preventing ACE

ACEs is NOT the end of the story. The negative impacts of ACEs can be assessed with great support and by building resilience skills.

ACEs can have a strong and negative impact on the health as well as the well-being of society. Childhood is a very crucial stage that holds the future of our country. Adverse effects can not only affect the individual but also hamper the upliftment of society.

Researchers have been working to find out how children develop resilience. It was also seen that those who went through positive effects experienced fewer mental health problems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enlists and identifies the following ways that can help in preventing Adverse childhood experiences [5].

Strategy

Approach

Strengthen economic support to families

Make households financially strong and independent.

Promote social norms that protect against violence and adversity


  • Increase public education campaigns.

  • Promote bystander approaches.

Teach skills

It is important to teach the following skills-

  • Social-emotional learning.

  • Skills for safe dating and a healthy relationship.

  • Better parenting methods and family relationship approaches.

Strong start for children


  • Ensuring to provide high-quality child care.

  • Home visitation during early childhood.

  • Family engagement during preschool.

An agreement was made among professionals that various important individual, family, and community conditions can support resilience, such as:

  • stable relationships with competent caregivers or other caring adults.

  • Parents or adults who design resilience.

  • Identifying and developing a sense of purpose (faith, culture, identity).

  • Connections that are social.

  • Advantages that are socio-economic in nature and constant support for parents and families.

  • Communities and social systems that are in support of health and development.

Talking about child abuse and neglect is not a very easy conversation, but those discussions are vital components to support survivors and help stop it from happening to future generations (4).

ACEs impact on mental health makes it difficult for one to cope with this world and finds themselves lonely. In the long run, the effects on health will also bring in and show their impact at a later age. In such a matter, Nootropics makes it easy to have a calm and relaxed mindset to overcome such experiences. Know how Nootropic helps to deal with ACEs.

  • Nootropics enhance cognition longevity

  • Improves metabolism and energy of the brain

  • Optimize neurotransmitters

  • Support cerebral circulation

  • Provide neuroprotection

  • Neuroregeneration

  • Improve mental health

Thus, Nootropics like Modalert help manage the negative impacts of ACE. Modern online purchase is effortless nowadays and involves less expense. To cut the cost of Modafinil and make mental health treatment affordable, one can get it from online pharmacies such as Healthmatter.

Modafinil, a central nervous system stimulant, is an effective cognition enhancer that has been clinically proven to improve a person's working and episodic memory. It also helps in the secretion of serotonin in the brain which improves mood and helps recover from the pain associated with childhood trauma.

Our final thoughts: ACE test and its effect

ACE are the negative/adverse conditions that occur in a child’s life. There are different reasons why it can happen- Be it mental or physical or Emotion abuse, or be it violence.

ACE test determines a score based on a set of 10 questions that determines the number and kind of childhood trauma. The higher the score level, the more chance to involve in the risk of severe diseases.


FAQ's

The ACE score ranges from 0 to 10. The more you score, the riskier of having chronic diseases and illnesses.

The ACE score is 1 to 3, and the person has no associated health condition, indicating that the risk is intermediate. When it is more than 4, it tells that the individual is at high risk.

ACEs are different for different individuals. But the outcome of such experiences may result in the following:

  • Trouble trusting people
  • Inability to study
  • Social anxiety
  • Frustration
  • No intention of making friends.

However, there can be more signs that identify ACEs. These are not all included here.

It is the tally of various types of neglect, abuse, and other adverse childhood experiences.


References-

  1. What are ACE’s? Understanding the Impacts of Trauma, Rapha international

  2. Take about your ACE test, stopabusecampaign.

  3. What is your ACE score and what does it mean? Understanding the consequences of Childhood Trauma, tulsaworld

  4. Long term effects of Child abuse and Neglect, preventchildabuse.

  5. Fast Facts: Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences, CDC.

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Disclaimer: We do not provide any medical advice.

The contents of Healthma are for informational purpose only and is taken by a thorough evaluation of research papers and Journals. We do not provide professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. We advise all readers to consult a physician before consuming any medication mentioned on the website.