Adverse Childhood Experiences

Early experiences shape the quality of our adult lives. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that can dramatically upset a child's sense of safety and well-being. The original Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study revealed how strongly negative experiences in childhood can derail a child's development, and lead to a host of physical, mental, financial, and social challenges throughout a lifetime. 

From 2012-2016, Iowa stakeholders joined other states in studying ACEs data in our population. In 2014 PCA Iowa published the first Iowa ACEs report. 

In 2016, PCA Iowa worked with the Central Iowa ACEs 360 Coalition to release a new report examining three years of Iowa data on childhood trauma and the link to poor adult health, mental health and health-risk behaviors. Read the full report here

Iowa ACEs research shows that 5 out of 30 adults have experienced significant childhood trauma and more than 51% of adult Iowans report experienceing at least one adverse childhood experience.

What this means for schools:

Studies show that by the time children enter preschool, one in four will have experienced a traumatic event impacting their readiness to learn. 

What this means for businesses:

On average, five out of thirty employees will have four or more ACEs. According to research from the CDC and Iowa ACEs, employees experienceing four or more ACEs compared to those with zero are 2.3 times more likely to report serious financial problems; 2.5 times more likely to have absenteeism (more than two days/month); and 3.6 times more likely to have serous job problems.

Our response:

Connections Matter is an initiative designed to engage community members in building caring connections to improve well-being. Research shows that communities connected through caring relationships have better physical and mental health, increased workplace productivity and school success, and less crime and homelessness. Greater social connectedness also strengthens families from the start to reduce the likelihood that child abuse will occur. Read more here

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Prevent Child Abuse Iowa 501 SW 7th St., Suite G1 | Des Moines, IA 50309 | P: (515) 244.2200 | F: (515) 280.7835

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