All the Other Reading: Adverse Childhood Experiences


It may not seem like it over here, but I’ve actually been reading a ton lately. I’m not absolutely positive that I want to head down the tenure track in academia, but I do know I want to research education somehow/somewhere. Apparently being able to chat about your own research is a good skill to have, so I might as well start here.

In the 1990’s, the Adverse Childhood Experiences study revealed that traumatic childhood experiences (such as abuse and neglect or a family member’s incarceration or death, among others) have a dramatic impact on adult health, including increased risk for cancer and heart disease.


BUT research also shows that the consistent presence of just one caring adult can greatly reduce the impact of ACEs.

NPR just did a fantastic series on school mental health, including this slideshow, which touched on the role childhood trauma plays in education. I’m most interested in the teacher piece of the puzzle (the caring adult!), specifically how to best train teachers in trauma-informed care and make sure they have the support they’ll need. It’s a big, multi-faceted problem, but a major focus of one of my classes is narrowing down a research interest, so I’m spending a bunch of time buried in journals. Hopefully, I’ll have more to share next time!