Why is this important?

The Adverse Childhood Experience study is one of the first studies to show a correlation between early childhood trauma or accumulated stress, and negative health outcomes later in life. (Dr. Vincent Felitti originally undertook the study to investigate childhood obesity.) Taking this test can be a first step in not only seeing how some of the questions with a yes are linked to current health problems, but it can also be a way of beginning to talk about something that may have been kept secret in your childhood. Taking this test can be the first step in your own healing journey.

The ACE Study is ongoing collaborative research between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA, and Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, CA.

The Co-principal Investigators of The Study are Robert F. Anda, MD, MS, with the CDC; and Vincent J. Felitti, MD, with Kaiser Permanente.

Over 17,000 Kaiser patients participating in routine health screening volunteered to participate in The Study.  Data resulting from their participation continues to be analyzed; it reveals staggering proof of the health, social, and economic risks that result from childhood trauma.

Finding Your ACE Score

While you were growing up, during your first 18 years of life:

1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…

Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you?


Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?

Yes No If yes enter 1 ________


2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…

Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you?


Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?

Yes No If yes enter 1 ________


3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever…

Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way?


Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?

Yes No If yes enter 1 ________


4. Did you often or very often feel that …

No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special?


Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?

Yes No If yes enter 1 ________


5. Did you often or very often feel that …

You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you?


Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed


Yes No If yes enter 1 ________


6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced?

Yes No If yes enter 1 ________


7. Was your mother or stepmother:

Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her?


Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard?


Ever repeatedly hit at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?

Yes No If yes enter 1 ________


8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic or who used street drugs?

Yes No If yes enter 1 ________


9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?

Yes No If yes enter 1 ________


10. Did a household member go to prison?

Yes No If yes enter 1 _______


Now add up your “Yes” answers: _______ This is your ACE Score.



The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

ABOUT THE STUDY: What everyone should know!

Here's What We Learned:

Many people experience harsh events in their childhood. 63% of the people who

participated in the study had experienced at least one category of childhood

trauma. Over 20% experienced 3 or more categories of trauma which we call

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

• 11% experienced emotional abuse.

• 28% experienced physical abuse.

• 21% experienced sexual abuse.

• 15% experienced emotional neglect.

• 10% experienced physical neglect.

• 13% witnessed their mothers being treated violently.

• 27% grew up with someone in the household using alcohol and/or drugs.

• 19% grew up with a mentally-ill person in the household.

• 23% lost a parent due to separation or divorce.

• 5% grew up with a household member in jail or prison.

ACEs seem to account for one-half to two-thirds of the serious problems with drug

use. They increase the likelihood that girls will have sex before reaching 15 years

of age, and that boys or young men will be more likely to impregnate a teenage girl.

Adversity in childhood causes mental health disorders such as depression,

hallucinations and post-traumatic stress disorders.

What everyone should know: 

The more categories of trauma experienced in childhood, the greater the

likelihood of experiencing:

alcoholism and alcohol abuse

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)


fetal death

poor health-related quality of life

illicit drug use

ischemic heart disease (IHD)

liver disease

risk for intimate partner violence

multiple sexual partners

sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)



suicide attempts

unintended pregnancies

If you experienced childhood trauma, you're not alone.