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Glossary of Terms

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

For Experts

  • Adverse childhood experiences are defined operationally as childhood events, varying in severity and often chronic, occurring in a child’s family or social environment that cause harm and distress, thereby disrupting the child’s physical or psychological health and development” (Kalmakis & Chandler, 2014). 
  • Examples include, but are not limited to, exposure to emotional, physical or sexual abuse, emotional or physical neglect, intimate partner violence, or dysfunction within the household (e.g., exposure to parental separation, a family member with a history of mental disorders, substance use, incarceration, or suicide attempt).

For General Public

  • Experiences of potentially psychologically traumatic events in a child’s family or social life that disrupt the health of child causing harm or distress.
  • Includes, but not limited to emotional or physical neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse, or violence in the household. 
  • Can predispose children to later life mental health conditions.

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