Adverse Childhood Events Study
The ACES study was conducted here in San Diego between 1995-97 and was spearheaded by Vincent Felitti, MD. This study was conducted with 17,000 participants and clearly demonstrated a link between adverse childhood experiences and later health, social and behavioral problems.
What I want to highlight here is the link with physical health problems, because this was the most surprising finding to many and is often an overlooked consequence of childhood trauma. The more of these adverse childhood experiences one has, the higher the risk of things like cancer, lung disease, stroke and diabetes.
The study asked about experiences of verbal/emotional abuse physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, parental divorce/separation, witnessing domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse in the home, mental illness in the home, or having a member of the household go to prison. You can go on-line and take the quiz yourself if you are interested.
It is important to remember that the list is not exhaustive and just because a negative or traumatic experience is not on the list that it is does not count or did not have an impact. It also does not capture the positive or resilience factors in childhood. That being said I think it did a lot to validate the experience of those who have been through traumas and felt it negatively impacted their health or health related behaviors.