Adverse Childhood Experiences & Public Health

The staggering statistics of child abuse and neglect, and the fact that this issue affects all of society in one way or another, ought to bring a community to not only consider, but to expect a response to this issue to be as organized and complete as the response to a public health issue.

The CDC’s 2008 booklet, Child Maltreatment Surveillance: Uniform definitions for Public Health and Recommended Data Elements, presents definitions and data elements to intend to promote and improve consistency of child maltreatment surveillance by individuals, community organizations, and state and local health departments. In this document, the CDC already considers child abuse to be a significant public health issue and it affirms that the research associated with maltreatment indicates “negative outcomes such as death, injury, traumatic brain injury” and long-term developmental outcomes such as “academic problems, anxiety, conduct disorder, childhood aggression, delinquency, depression, increased risk for suicide, high-risk sexual behaviors, substance abuse and youth violence.” Furthermore, the CDC asserts these medical and legal consequences make prevention, early identification and intervention an imperative (Leeb,, 2008).

Select a link below to learn more:


The ACE Study

The Public Health Approach

ACE Consortium