I’ve got a few blogs lined up that fit within the broad category of self-help. I thought today I would make a start with ACE scores.
If you experienced stressful, traumatizing events before age 18, as I did, you may be interested to know these events are commonly referred to as adverse childhood experiences or ACEs. An ACE score is the sum of different categories of events (abuse, neglect and household challenges) and is a widely used measure of cumulative childhood stress.
- take this quiz and get your ACE score (then come back to learn more)
Based on the landmark research study conducted by CDC-Kaiser, a high ACE score has been linked to a variety of negative health consequences later in life.
An ACE score can range from 0 to 10. My ACE score is 5, which puts me at significant risk for negative health outcomes. I just discovered this info-graphic which allows you to explore risks associated with your ACE Score.
Based on my score of 5, it might seem like I’m doomed to check off most of the negative health outcomes. Fortunately, it isn’t that simple: resiliency research shows that positive childhood experiences, like having supportive relationships with caring adults, can offset some degree of ACEs. You can also use your ACE risk information to work on improving things you can control:
- quit smoking
- use alcohol appropriately
- increase your physical activity
- eat healthfully
- get your annual physical
- find treatment for mental health concerns
Comment below if you are interested in reading more and let me know which topic(s) above are of interest. Also, you may be interested in my previous blog discussing mental health impacts of sexual violence and intimate partner violence.