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Table 1 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), age 0–19 years

From: Systematic review of pediatric health outcomes associated with childhood adversity




Someone pushed, grabbed, slapped or threw something at child or child was hit so hard that she/he was injured or had marks

Household member swore at, insulted, humiliated, or put down child in a way that scared child or household member acted in a way that made child afraid that she/he might be physically hurt

Someone touched child’s private parts or asked child to touch that person’s private parts in a sexual way that was unwanted, against child’s will, or made child feel uncomfortable


More than once, child went without food, clothing, a place to live, or had no one to protect her/him

Child often felt unsupported, unloved, and/or unprotected

Household dysfunction

Child’s parents or guardians were separated or divorced

Child saw or heard household members hurt or threaten to hurt each other

Household member was depressed, mentally ill, or attempted suicide

Household member had a problem with drinking or using drugs

Household member served time in jail or prison

Other adversities

Child was separated from primary caregiver through deportation or immigration

Child had a serious medical procedure or life threatening illness

Child experienced harassment or bullying at school

Child experienced verbal or physical abuse or threats from a romantic partner (i.e. boyfriend or girlfriend)

Child often saw or heard violence in the neighborhood or school

Child was detained, arrested, or incarcerated

Child was often treated badly because of race, sexual orientation, place of birth, disability, or religion

Child lived with a parent or guardian who died

Child was in foster care

  1. The categories and definitions were derived from Center for Youth Wellness ACE Questionnaire [22], which was adapted from the original ACE Study [9]