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_______________________ This questionnaire was developed by the early childhood service providers, pediatricians, psychologists, and health advocates of Southern Kennebec Healthy Start, Augusta, Maine, in 2006, and updated in February 2013.
Two psychologists in the group, Mark Rains and Kate Mc Clinn, came up with the 14 statements with editing suggestions by the other members of the group.
Think of it as a cholesterol score for childhood toxic stress. The higher your ACE score, the higher your risk of health and social problems.
(Of course, other types of trauma exist that could contribute to an ACE score, so it is conceivable that people could have ACE scores higher than 10; however, the ACE Study measured only 10 types.) As your ACE score increases, so does the risk of disease, social and emotional problems.
Fortunately, brains and lives are somewhat plastic.
The content of the questions was based on a number of research studies from the literature over the past 40 years including that of Emmy Werner and others. A secure early childhood is helpful, but not necessary.Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia have done their own ACE surveys; their results are similar to the CDC’s ACE Study.The study’s researchers came up with an ACE score to explain a person’s risk for chronic disease.The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature.The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of health consequences.
There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study.