Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & Health

ACEs are potentially traumatic events that occur during childhood or adolescence such as abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Given the developmentally sensitive period when ACEs occur, ACEs can become biologically embedded by altering metabolic and inflammatory cellular pathways, which can have long-lasting impacts on mental and physical health. Our research in this area focuses on investigating the role ACEs may play in increasing risk for mental health and chronic health conditions in adulthood, and the mechanisms that may drive (i.e., risk factors) or attenuate (i.e., protective factors) these associations.

We hope that by investigating the factors that link adverse childhood experiences to future health, we can better understand how to mitigate negative effects and improve outcomes for people who experienced early life adversity.

Lowry, E., McInerney, A., Schmitz, N., & Deschênes, S. S. (2022). Adverse childhood experiences and cognitive function in adulthood: examining the roles of depressive symptoms and inflammation in a prospective cohort study. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 1-11.

Deschênes, S. S., Kivimaki, M., & Schmitz, N. (2021). Adverse childhood experiences and the risk of coronary heart disease in adulthood: examining potential psychological, biological, and behavioral mediators in the Whitehall II Cohort study. Journal of the American Heart Association, 10(10), e019013.

Deschênes, S. S., Graham, E., Kivimäki, M., & Schmitz, N. (2018). Adverse childhood experiences and the risk of diabetes: examining the roles of depressive symptoms and cardiometabolic dysregulations in the Whitehall II cohort study.Diabetes Care, 41(10), 2120-2126.