Perkins, D; Sarris, J; Caiuby Labate, B; Cavnar, C
(Springer International Publishing, 2021)
The last 20 years have seen major developments in the understanding of how childhood trauma (negative events that cause distress and overwhelm a person’s ability to cope) can have long-term effects on the health and well-being of adults who have experienced this. Child sexual abuse was first included in global burden of disease and disability estimates in 2004, and there has been a steady accumulation of research and evidence identifying the public health issues and costs associated with various traumatic childhood experiences.
Much of this research has used the framework of adverse childhood experiences or ACEs, which encompass emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, as well as various other adverse events, including growing up in a household in which there is domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, or a member with mental illness; criminal behavior or incarceration of a family member; caregiver separation or divorce; and neglect, both physical and emotional. Such experiences have been found to be associated with higher rates of physical and mental illness, disability, and premature death in adulthood.