Adverse childhood experiences lead to trauma and toxic stress. Toxic stress prevents optimal brain development and adversely affects the endocrine and immune systems, leading to a greater likelihood of chronic diseases in later life and a greater likelihood of mental and emotional problems. In the Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACE Study), a large-scale international study of over 17,000 middle-aged individuals in the social middle class), Felitti et al. examined the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the relationship to psychological, physical and social problems in adulthood. As negative experiences they mentioned repeatedly physical and/or emotional abuse, sexual abuse and dysfunctional family situations. They found that the likelihood of psychiatric, somatic and social problems is directly related to the number of adverse experiences in childhood (they call it the ACE score). Almost 40% of the 17,000 individuals scored two or more negative childhood experiences, one in eight scored four or…

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