Health >> Childhood Health Risks >> Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) >> Age, Race/Ethnicity, Gender

Only 1 in 14 seniors (adults age 65 and older) had high ACE scores – half the county average.

During childhood, frequent or extended exposure to toxic stressors – such as abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction – can impair brain development, with potentially lifelong consequences for health and wellbeing.  Similarly, certain attitudes and preferences in adolescence can predict whether teens are likely to engage in unhealthy or delinquent behaviors.

In a telephone survey, King County adults were asked to think back to the years before they were 18 and report their exposure to any of 8 categories of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).  Scores ranged from 0 to 8. To facilitate demographic comparisons, 3 years of data were averaged.

High adverse childhood experience (ACE) scores occurred across all ages and races/ethnicities and in both males and females. 

  • Adults 65 and older were less likely than younger adults to have high ACE scores.
  • Asian adults were less likely than adults in all other racial/ethnic groups to have high ACE scores.
  • Females were more likely than males to have high ACE scores.