International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Trauma and Diversity: The Role of Health Care in Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Amo

06/01/2018
by Chris Sexton, PhD, MSW, and Briana Woods-Jaeger, PhD, MS
Toxic stress resulting from chronic exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including trauma exposure, parent mental health problems, and family dysfunction, can lead to numerous health, social, and behavioral problems throughout the lifespan (Anda et al., 2006). ACEs have been linked to a multitude of negative health outcomes in children, including presence and severity of asthma (Yonas et al., 2012), obesity and type II diabetes (Hemmingsson et al., 2014), and mental health and behavioral problems, such as substance abuse, school and behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (Van Niel et al., 2014). We conducted interviews with five clinicians from a children’s hospital with expertise in behavioral and physical health problems related to ACEs. The objectives were to elicit: (1) perceptions about the relationship among ACEs and childhood health disparities from clinical experts who treat pediatric health conditions among racial and ethnic minority children; and (2) gather recommendations of supports and services to reduce the number and severity of ACEs in children and mitigate the health disparities associated with ACEs.

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