ACEs, Trauma, & Resiliency



Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study showed that children are exposed to clusters of traumatic experiences highlighting the underlying pathogenic parenting.  For example our children routinely experience 6+ out of the original 10 ACEs linked to negative mental and physical health outcomes.   Some of the ACEs in the cluster of living with a an impaired caregiver include; 1) enduring intense and prolonged psychological abuse and 2) neglect, 3) witness domestic violence, 4) suffering in the middle of a prolonged, high conflict divorce, and 5) losing a parent.  


 Traumatic/Toxic Stress

Clusters of ACEs in the absence of the protection of the targeted parent, induce prolonged dangerously high levels of stress hormones in our children.  Stress hormones such as cortisol,  place an intolerable burden on a child’s vulnerable developing systems and ultimately causes stress-related physical and mental illnesses.



Resiliency and The Science of Hope

Resilience is the ability to bounce back to a return a healthy and hopeful person after bad things happen. Research shows that if parents provide a safe environment for their children and teach them how to be resilient, that helps reduce the effects of ACEs.

Resilience is role modeled by parents who...

1.  ...know how to solve problems, have healthy adult relationships, and build healthy relationships with their children.

 2.  ...pays attention to their children and responds to their needs. 

3. ...has family, friends and/or neighbors who support and help the family.

4.  ...prioritize meeting their children's needs with safe housing, nutritious food, appropriate clothing, access to health care and good education.

6.  ...helps their child manage emotions and communicate feelings and needs.

Targeted parents are the single greatest source of resiliency and hope for children who are born to an impaired caregiver.