For information and support relating to COVID-19 please click here

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

ACEs are linked to long-term impacts on an individual’s health, wellbeing and life chances. A growing body of research is revealing the extent to which experiences and events during childhood, such as abuse, neglect and dysfunctional home environments, are associated with the development of a wide range of harmful behaviours including smoking, harmful alcohol use, drug use, risky sexual behaviour, violence and crime. They are also linked to disease such as diabetes, mental illness, cancer and cardiovascular disease and ultimately to premature death.

The ten adverse childhood experiences include five direct ACEs:

  1. sexual abuse by parent/caregiver
  2. emotional abuse by parent/caregiver
  3. physical abuse by parent/caregiver
  4. emotional neglect by parent/caregiver
  5. physical neglect by parent/caregiver

and five indirect ACEs:

  1. parent/caregiver addicted to alcohol/other drugs
  2. witnessed abuse in the household
  3. family member in prison
  4. family member with a mental illness
  5. parent/caregiver disappeared through abandoning family/divorce.

This information has been taken from