Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) – Educator Resources

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are highly stressful negative events during childhood. Research shows connections between these events and poor social, behavioral and health outcomes throughout the lifespan. These outcomes have powerful negative impacts on individuals, families and communities. Below is a selected list of resources for educators. The list explores the impacts of childhood adversity and toxic stress on health and well-being, along with steps communities are taking to address this complex issue. 

ACE Study CDC website. This website sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides the findings from the original ACEs study as well as access to additional related articles and resources.

TED Talk: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician and the CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness at the California Pacific Medical Center Bayview Child Health Center, discusses toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences in children and what can be done to address it.

Harvard University Center on the Developing Child Toxic Stress Overview This website provides an overview of three kinds of stress responses: positive, tolerable, and toxic. It also includes an informative video on the topic.

Not Enough Apologies A documentary from PBS Wisconsin exploring how adverse childhood experiences can result in changes to the brain, leading to cascading behavioral and mental health problems. Discover how service providers across Wisconsin are working to be responsive to trauma in efforts to change the trajectory for affected children.

Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board Find WI data on ACEs as well as prevention resources for families and providers here.

An Extension Educator Perspective on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) This Research to Practice Brief written by UWEX Extension specialists, Steve Small and Mary Huser, was published in the Journal of Extension Feb 2019. It provides an overview of ACEs, examines the evidence base, discusses some limitations of the research, and explores implications of the research for Extension educators and other community and family professionals.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network was established to improve access to care, treatment, and services for traumatized children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events.

Wisconsin ACE Interface Project. This site provides information about Wisconsin ACE Interface Project, a curriculum and training program. The project is co-sponsored by Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board and SaintA and administered by SaintA.

ACEs Connection. ACEs Connection is a social network and blog directed at recognizing the impact of adverse childhood experiences in shaping adult behavior and health, and helping communities and institutions — from schools to prisons to hospitals and churches – respond more sensitively to those who have been traumatized.

Historical Trauma and Cultural Healing  A video series with discussion questions focusing on historical trauma, how historical trauma is perpetuated today and how connection to culture and community can help heal. From the University of MN Extension.

Adverse Childhood Experiences in Rural and Urban Contexts. This research brief from the Maine Rural Health Research Center presents and discusses the findings from an assessment of a state assessment of adverse childhood experiences.

Breaking Through: Video and User’s Guide to Understand and Address Toxic Stress This 20-minute educational video from the Office of Head Start, US Department of Health and Human Services, provides an overview of how toxic stress can impact a child’s life-long health and well-being. It also discusses how Head Start programs and health care professionals can support children and families to help prevent toxic stress. An accompanying user guide shows how best to use this resource.

Aces Too High. This news site reports on research about adverse childhood experiences, including developments in epidemiology, neurobiology, and the biomedical and epigenetic consequences of toxic stress. It also covers how people, organizations, agencies and communities are implementing practices based on the research. This includes developments in education, juvenile justice, criminal justice, public health, medicine, mental health, social services, and cities, counties and states.

Working Toward Well-Being: Community Approaches to Toxic Stress. This issue brief from the Center for the Study of Social Policy defines what is meant by toxic stress and provides some suggestions on how communities can respond.

Adverse Childhood Experiences: National and State-level Prevalence. This brief from Child Trends describes the prevalence of one or more ACEs among children ages birth through 17, using nationally representative data from the 2011/12 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH).

Special Journal Issue on Child Well-being and Adverse Childhood Experiences. This is a recently published special issue of the journal Academic Pediatrics on the topic of Child Well-being and Adverse Childhood Experiences in the United States. It includes more than 25 articles on a wide range of topics related to all aspects of ACEs including policy, education and practice. Access to the articles is available at no cost at the journal website.


For questions or suggestions related to this page, please contact the ACEs page editor, Liz Lexau at

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