Working toward a resilient community that prevents and reduces the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Guelph and Wellington County.
What are ACEs
Experiences in childhood shape who we are and set the stage for who we will become.
Many people experience stressful or traumatic events while growing up. Researchers use the term adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to describe types of abuse, neglect and household dysfunction that happen before the age of 18. ACEs can increase the risk of negative health behaviours and outcomes that can develop later in life.2
However, with the right support people can overcome the risks and thrive.
The ACEs Coalition of Guelph & Wellington aims to prevent and reduce the effects of ACEs in our communities by building resilience at the individual, family, and community level.
ACEs impact Health and Wellbeing
The Ten Categories of ACEs
ACEs don’t usually happen in isolation. A landmark study conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente researched various types of ACEs:
Prolonged exposure to toxic stress in childhood without the presence of a nurturing adult can lead to physiological changes in the brain.
1 Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (2019). Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Childhood Experience Study (report in progress). Guelph, ON.
2 Felitti, V. J., Anda, R. F., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D. F., Spitz, A. M., Edwards, V., … & Marks, J. S. (1998). Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American journal of preventive medicine, 56(6), 774-786.
3 Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2016). From Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts: A Science-Based Approach to Building a More Promising Future for Young Children and Families. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from here
4 Ludy-Dobson, C.R. & Perry, B.D. (2010). Chapter 3: The Role of Healthy Relational Interactions in Buffering the Impact of Childhood Trauma. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from here
5 Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2017). Excessive Stress Disrupts the Architecture of the Developing Brain: Working Paper No.3. Retrieved February 21, 2018 from here
6 Strong Communities Raise Strong Kids. (2011). Adverse Childhood Experiences: The Impetus for Change [PPT]. Retrieved February 21, 2013, from here
7 De Bellis, M. D., & Zisk, A. (2014). The Biological Effects of Childhood Trauma. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 23(2), 185-222. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
8 Hosier, D. (2016). Three Critical Brain Regions Harmed by Childhood Trauma. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from here
9 National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. (2012). The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain: Working Paper 12. From here
10 Pechtel, P., & Pizzagalli, D. A. (2011). Effects of early life stress on cognitive and affective function: an integrated review of human literature. Psychopharmacology, 214(1), 55–70. doi:10.1007/s00213-010-2009-2
11 Merrick MT, Ford DC, Ports KA, Guinn AS. (2018). Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences from the 2011-2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 23 States. JAMA Pediatrics, 172(11):1038–44.
12Hughes K, Bellis MA, Hardcastle KA, Sethi D, Butchart A, Mikton C, et al. (2017). The effect of multiple adverse childhood experiences on health: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Public Health, 2(8):e356–66.