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Colorado Essentials for Childhood is a partnership of stakeholders who are committed to a future where children and families thrive in the places where they live, learn, work and play. Our ultimate goal is to prevent and reduce child abuse and neglect in our state.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Adult Health in Colorado

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic or stressful experiences, such as abuse, which occur during childhood or adolescence. Existing research shows that these negative early life experiences have long-lasting effects on an individual’s well-being. However, the burden of these experiences among Colorado adults was previously unknown.

ACEs are common among adult Coloradans, with 61.7% being exposed to at least one type of ACE . More than one-third of adults have a history of multiple types of ACE. Nearly 15 percent of adults experienced four or more ACEs, and some adults have a history of all eight types (0.4%). Parental divorce/separation, emotional abuse, and having a substance-abusing household member were each cited by more than a quarter of adults (Figure 2). Physical abuse (18.9%), living with someone who had a mental illness (17.0%), and domestic violence (16.4%) were also common experiences. One in every ten adults were sexually abused before age 18, and the prevalence was three times higher among females. Six percent of Coloradans had a household member who spent time in prison.

See Health Watch for more information on this study.


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