Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)2019-09-06T11:56:39-05:00

An adverse childhood experience (ACE) describes a traumatic experience in a person’s life occurring before the age of 18 that the person remembers as an adult.

The nine ACEs are:

  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • mental illness of a household member
  • problematic drinking or alcoholism of a household member
  • illegal street or prescription drug use by a household member
  • divorce or separation of a parent
  • domestic violence towards a parent
  • incarceration of a household member

The ACE score is a measure of cumulative exposure to adverse childhood conditions. Exposure to any single ACE condition is counted as one point. If a person experienced none of the conditions in childhood, the ACE score is zero. Points are then totaled for a final ACE score. It is important to note that the ACE score does not capture the frequency or severity of any given ACE in a person’s life, focusing instead on the number of ACE conditions experienced. In addition, the ACE conditions used in the ACE survey reflect only a select list of experiences.


ACEs Connection

Connect with people using trauma-informed/resilience-building practices. Stay current with news, research, events.

MN Department of Health

Building Community Resilience

Learn about the Pair of ACEs and how you can start your own Resilience Community.  Free Resources.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Supporting Children and Youth with Trauma in School

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019 — 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM CST
This workshop will help parents and others learn positive interventions for youth who struggle with trauma and challenging behaviors, including the role of Section 504 and special education.


Whole People 101: Childhood Trauma

TPT MN presents a documentary series on ACES.

RESILIENCE-The biology of stress and the science of hope. KPJR Films

Resilience is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress. Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behavior.

Film may be available at your local library

PAPER TIGERS- One high school’s unlikely success story. KPJR Films

Following six students over the course of a school year, we see Lincoln’s staff try a new approach to discipline: one based on understanding and treatment rather than judgment and suspension. Using a combination of verite and revealing diary cam footage, a testament to what the latest development science is showing: that just one caring adult can help break the cycle of adversity in a young person’s life. 

Film may be available at your local library