The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is a comprehensive research project conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare organization, in the United States. The study aimed to examine the long-term impacts of adverse experiences during childhood on health and well-being throughout a person's life.

The ACE Study was conducted between 1995 and 1997 and involved more than 17,000 participants. It collected data through surveys and interviews, focusing on ten types of adverse experiences: physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; physical and emotional neglect; and five types of household dysfunction, including witnessing domestic violence, living with household members who had substance abuse issues or mental illness, or experiencing parental separation or divorce.

The study found a strong correlation between adverse childhood experiences and negative health outcomes later in life. The higher the number of ACEs a person experienced, the greater their risk of various health problems, such as mental health disorders, substance abuse, chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, diabetes), and social and behavioral issues.

The Ace Pyramid

The ACE Pyramid represents the conceptual framework for the ACE Study. The ACE study has uncovered how ACEs are strongly related to development of risk factors for disease, and well-being throughout the life course.

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