The following is a list of peer-reviewed resources that aids in the study of the relationship between ACEs and PTSD and various mental health problems. Most of the articles are available in online libraries while a few, such as books were accessed in print. The list included resources from peer-reviewed journal and recently published textbooks. Although it does not exhaust all the materials on the subject matter, the sampled list is a representative of the available resources on ACEs and mental health. The articles were accessed via PubMed, ProQuest and PsycINFO databases. The following inclusion criteria were used

  • The article must be peer reviewed
  • Written in English, or its English translation is available
  • Not older than 10 years, that is published year 2004 onwards
  • Be a primary study; case studies and article review were excluded
  1. Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences and their Relation with  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Since the publication of the first ACE study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the  Kaiser Permanente Health Maintenance Organization (KPHM) in 1998, several scholars have shown interest in understanding the various forms of childhood adversities. Several publications that relate the post-traumatic stress with the experience of hostility during childhood have been published.

Finkelhor, David, Anne Shattuck, Heather Turner, and Sherry Hamby. “Improving the adverse childhood experiences study scale.” JAMA pediatrics167, no. 1 (2013): 70-75.

The study of ACEs has captured the attention of several scholars, but has all the possible childhood adversities been identified? Scholars rely on the ACEs study that was conducted in 1998; however, there is need to re-evaluate and redefine the forms of ACEs and their impact on mental health. The study by Finkelhor and others is among the few researches that have been conducted to improve on the distinct instances of childhood maltreatment. In this study, researchers conducted a telephone interview with a sample of 2030 children and youths sampled from different socioeconomic backgrounds. The participants were queried about their lifetime adversities and the present symptoms of any distress. From the data obtained, Finkelhor and the team were able to add some uncommon forms of hostilities in the domain of ACEs while removing some originally classified maltreatment. This study reveals that the society’s understanding of what constitutes adverse experience during childhood is incomplete. In addition, the incompleteness in the understanding of ACEs may hamper the studies of the relationship between ACE and mental wellbeing. Therefore, the scientist should not only focus on identifying deterrence and remediation measures for ACEs, but also on understanding the scope and nature of various childhood adversities.

Moroz, Kathleen J. “The effects of psychological trauma on children and adolescents”. Report, Department of Health (2005).

This article presents an extensive look into psychological trauma, with a bias to the traumatic events experienced at childhood and adolescence. Kathleen Moroz is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work, University of Utah. She has made immerse contribution to the study and understanding of mental health. The relationship between ACEs and mental health requires a deep understanding of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. In this article, Moroz provides a comprehensive definition of the two phrases. The article does not only stretch the impacts of trauma in children, but also discusses the risk factors attributed to trauma. It also provides a statistical overview of the prevalence of trauma in children. Further, Moroz estimates the overall cost of trauma and concludes that immediate measures of arresting it in children is needed. This article is an important piece in the study of impact of ACEs since it is among the works that puts childhood adversities into perspective.

Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Scared sick: the role of childhood trauma in adult disease. New York: Basic Books, 2012. 

Robin Karr-Morse is one of the renowned therapists of her time. Assisted by Meredith Wiley, Morse presents a condensate of information that combines various fields in medicine. The duo authors links human’s psychology, neurology, endocrinology and immunology, to paint a clear picture of how each aspect affects the other. They clearly reveal that none of the disciplines can stand alone since the ill-being of one impact the others. In this comprehensive book, Morse and Wiley illustrates the childhood trauma impacts on their health in adulthood. The book’s vivid coverage of every aspect of childhood trauma makes it a recommendable source in the study of ACEs.

Stein, Martin T. “Adverse Psychosocial Experiences in Childhood Affect Adult Health”. Journal Watch. Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (Jan 27, 2010). doi:

This article present a crucial research which proves that adverse childhood  psychosocial experiences affects, not just the wellbeing of  children, but also their adulthood. The Journal Watch includes a collection of latest information on medical issues that concerns children and adolescents. In this peer-reviewed article, Stein reports on a longitudinal birth-cohort study carried out on a given community in New Zealand. The study involved 1037 newborns, sampled in such a manner that ensures a full range representation of socioeconomic factors. The analyst kept track of the hostile psychosocial experiences among the participants from age 3 to 32 years. He later assessed their risk of age-related diseases, including various psychiatry disorders at age 32. The results concludes that ACEs affects individual’s psychosocial response to stress.

Swopes, Rachael M., Daniel V. Simonet, Anna E. Jaffe, Robert P. Tett, and Joanne L. Davis. “Adverse childhood experiences, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and emotional intelligence in partner aggression.” Violence and victims 28, no. 3 (2013): 513-530.

Various publications have indicated that hostile environment during childhood affects a person’s mental wellbeing. However, only a few scolars have focused on the the post-traumatic stress disorder that results from the ACEs. In this study, Swopes and her team establishes the link between of post-traumatic stress disorder that originates from hostile childhood experience and partner aggression. The study involved a retrospective analysis of a sample of 108 male Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) offenders. Consistent to other studies, Swopes and others found that ACEs is certainly correlated to partner aggression. Moreover, this study found that PTSD mediates the link between ACEs and partner aggression. The article, therefore, outstands amongst several articles in the study of ACEs and mental health due to the approach of PTSD mediation.

  • The Association of Adverse Childhood Experience with Various Mental Conditions

Researchers have identified an association between increased exposures to hostile treatments during childhood with almost every mental disorder. Although the link is clearer in some conditions than others, the following is a sample of the studies that have proved a link between one or more ACE with particular mental disorders.

Fisher, H. L., P. B. Jones, P. Fearon, T. K. Craig, P. Dazzan, K. Morgan, G. Hutchinson, et al. “The Varying Impact of Type, Timing and Frequency of Exposure to Childhood Adversity on its Association with Adult Psychotic Disorder”. Psychological Medicine40, no. 12 (12, 2010): 1967-78. doi:

This article addresses the issue of correlation of ACE and psychotic disorder with more specificity to particular characteristics of the childhood maltreatment. Its authors are cherished researchers affiliated with different academic institutions in the United Kingdom. The periodical of Psychological medicine is a principal archive in the field of clinical psychiatry and publish only peer-reviewed researches undertaken around the globe. In this study, Fisher and others extend the findings by others analysts on the clinical correlates of hostile experiences during childhood on psychiatry disorder. Prior to this study, researchers had established that indeed adverse childhood experiences correlates to psychiatric disorder. Conversely, this study elaborates that the association of the adverse experience and psychiatry disorder varies with the nature, timing and the incidence of exposure to childhood adversities. The study involved 182 participants with first-presentation insanity cases and other 246 geologically harmonized control group. The study found that only specific types of ACEs could be associated with psychotic disorders.

Lu, Weili, Kim T. Mueser., Stanley D. Rosenberg and Mary Kay Jankowski.” Correlates of Adverse Childhood Experiences among Adults with Severe Mood Disorders.” Psychiatric Services 59, no. 9 (09, 2008): 1018-26.

This peer-reviewed article encompasses the findings of other studies on the link between ACEs and poor physical and mental health. Its co-author, Dr. Lu is a celebrated psychologist affiliated with a renowned University in New Jersey. The others authors are also well-known scientist from Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire.In addition, Psychiatric Services is a peer-reviewed journal by the American Psychiatric Association that features reports on issues related to the betterment of mental health services. In this study, Lu and others inspects the clinical links of childhood adversities among adults with critical mood disorder. The study included a total of 254 participants with acute mood disarray. The participant’s experience of one or more form of adversity during childhood was assessed retrospectively to establish any correlation. The scope of adverse experiences included physical or sexual abuse, loss of parent, divorce, parental separation or domestic violence. In addition to the psychiatric disorders, increased exposure to ACEs was also found to relate to high-risk conducts and substance abuse disorders.

Spinhoven, Philip, Bernet M. Elzinga, Jacqueline GFM Hovens, Karin Roelofs, Frans G. Zitman, Patricia van Oppen, and Brenda WJH Penninx. “The specificity of childhood adversities and negative life events across the life span to anxiety and depressive disorders.” Journal of affective disorders 126, no. 1 (2010): 103-112.

This scholarly article presents the report of a research that was commissioned by the Institute of Psychology in the Leiden University of Netherlands. The study assesses the impact of adversities experienced at childhood and across life span to affective disorders such as anxiety and depressive disorders. The study incorporated 2288 participants, each of whom had been diagnosed with at least one mood disorder. In order to relate the ACEs to the affective disorders, the researchers analyzed the association of the participant’s childhood adversities history with their diagnosed disorder. They also considered the association of other negative experiences across life span with the mood disorders of the participants. This study established that the negative life experiences such as emotional neglect is differentially related to affective disorders. The study sets a good precedent to the researchers who would wish to identify whether the impact of the negative experience is stronger when the adversity is experienced during childhood.

Tonmyr, Lil, Ellen Jamieson, Leslie S. Mery, and Harriet L. MacMillan. “The Relation between Childhood Adverse Experiences and Disability due to Mental Health Problems in a Community Sample of Women.” Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 50, no. 12 (10, 2005): 778-83.

This peer-reviewed article introduces another aspect in the study of ACE and mental health, that is, the disability that can be associated with mental problems. Several articles document the association of ACE with various psychiatry disorders; however, there has been little concern on the link between ACE and mental disabilities. In this study, Tonmyr and others investigates the association between hostilities experienced during childhood and the disabilities as a result of mental health problems in women. The study involves a large sample of 4239 women and girls in the age gap of 15-65 years. The participants were required to respond to a self-administered questionnaire that inquired about their history of child abuse. The data collected was later analyzed using the logistic regression method to identify any association. The study found that even though disability due to mental health was reported among the women with and without abuse history, ACE was a correlate of disability.

  • The impacts Adverse Childhood on various special groups in the community

Over the year, scientists have proved that some social groups in the community are more prone to certain mental disorders than others. More so, certain conditions predispose one to the post-traumatic stress disorder. Similarly, the correlation of ACE and metal health varies with varying social conditions. Various analysts have studied the impact of particular adversity of future health of the victim. The following samples represents studies that involves ACE attributed to a given condition such as foster parenting, dysfunctional families and so on.

Bruskas, Delilah. “Adverse Childhood Experiences and Psychosocial Well-Being of Women Who Were in Foster Care as Children.” The Permanente Journal 17, no. 3 (2013): e131-e141.

This extensive scholarly article addresses an important aspect of todays’ child rearing; the foster care programs. Delilah Bruskas is an eminent philosophical nurse and great champions for foster children. In this study, Burkes undertakes to investigate whether the childhood maltreatments in foster care systems affects the foster children in their adulthood. Often, children are placed under alternative parenting in legally recognized foster care systems; however, are the foster care programs free from childhood adversities? This study evaluates the relationship between ACEs and psychosocial wellbeing of adults who were placed under foster caregivers as children. The study assesses the psychosocial status of a sample of 101 women in the age bracket 18-71, all of whom grew up under the care of a foster parent. The participants were also subjected to an ACE questionnaire to establish which showed that they all experience one or more forms of hostility. In addition, Bruskas found that children raised under the foster care system are at a higher risk of experiencing adversity in childhood. This finding poses a challenge to the advocates of children to ensure that managements of foster care programs provide the children with a friendly environment.

Gjelsvik, Annie, Dumont, Dora., Nunn, Amy, and Rosen, David. “Adverse Childhood Events: Incarceration of Household Members and Health Related Quality of Life in Adulthood.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 25, no. 3 (08, 2014): 1169-82,

The study of ACEs has attracted the attention of various researchers, many of whom are interested in establishing the impact of ACE on future health. Nevertheless, what constitutes childhood adversity? Most of the analysts study the common forms of childhood hostilities, including sexual and physical abuse, emotional neglect, and dysfunctional family and so on. Most recently, however, Gjelsvik and others focused on incarceration of household member as an adverse childhood even. Even though the impact of incarceration of a family member of a child’s mental health may not be as severe as other forms of ACE, this study finds that it is associated to the child’s wellbeing. Gjelsvik and others found that adults who lived in with an incarcerated family member during childhood were at a higher risk of poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL). This article is an important resource in the study of ACE since it educates on a less regarded childhood adversity. Incarceration of a family member has, for a long time, been sidelined in the study of ACEs.

Lamers-Winkelman, Francien, Agnes M. Willemen, and Margreet Visser. “Adverse Childhood Experiences of referred children exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: Consequences for their wellbeing.” Child abuse & neglect 36, no. 2 (2012): 166-179.

This study explores the impact of childhood maltreatments that are basically experienced by children raised up in abusive relationships. The Child abuse & neglect, an official publication of the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect,is an extensive collection of peer reviewed articles that mainly cover child development and wellbeing. While most studies, evaluates the impacts of childhood adversaries in totality, Lamers-Winkelman and others examines the impacts of adversaries that specifically originates from exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV). According to Lamers-Winkelman and her team, children exposed to IPV experiences multiple adversaries, which expose them to the risk of emotional and behavioral problems. Therefore, their study aimed at investigating the relationship between the adverse childhood experiences in children exposed to IPV and the severe behavioral and emotional trauma. Their study sample comprised of 208 children who had been admitted to hospital following reports of IPV in their respective families. Unlike other studies where the sample population is the exclusive respondent, this study extended interview for the children’s caregivers and the teachers. Lamers-Winkelman and others found that children exposed to IPV were at higher risk of experiencing other ACEs. The results of this study are a key resource in the study of negative childhood experiences and its impact on mental health. Given that other studies have proved that modern families are more prone to IPV, Lamers-Winkelman et al.’s findings is a call for the future analysts to establish ways of minimizing adverse childhood experience among the children exposed to IPV.

Saha, Ria, Anjali Giressan, and Sibnath Deb. “Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Mental Health: A Retrospective Study.”Indian Journal of Positive Psychology 5, no. 2 (06, 2014): 183-6,

The study by Saha and others is perhaps, one of the recent publications on the study of on the impact of hostile experiences during childhood on one’s mental health. Their findings are consistent to the previous studies that childhood adversities pre-depose one to various mental disorders. In this study, Saha and others conducts a retrospective examination on 221 female and 189 male undergraduate students. The study aimed at establishing how one’s childhood experiences relate to his/her mental state, particularly their sense of satisfaction with life, self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. The study established a direct link between hostile childhood experiences and the mental well-being of college students. In addition, the study found that female students were more prone to mental disorders that are associated to childhood unpropitious than their male counterpart. These findings reveal that there could be a significant difference in how male and female react to ACEs and PTSD. This finding sets a background for future studies since it creates an implication that childhood experiences may have an impact

Whitfield, Charles L., Shanta R. Dube, Vincent J. Felitti, and Robert F. Anda. “Adverse childhood experiences and hallucinations.” Child abuse & neglect 29, no. 7 (2005): 797-810.

This article presents the study of one of the primary issues in the understanding of mental health; hallucination. Although hallucination is not a pathognomonic for any disorder, it has been found to manifest in various mental disorders such as schizophrenia, dissociative-identity and bipolar disorders. Various studies in the 1990s indicated that hallucination is associated with childhood trauma; however, the studies had not graded the relationship between experiencing multiple forms of adverse events during childhood and any disorder. Therefore, Whitfield and others embarks on a study that aims at establishing the relationship of multiple ACEs and the likelihood of experiencing hallucinations. Their survey included a sample of 17,337 adult respondents. The researchers matched the data obtained in the history of childhood abuse experienced by the participants and the reports of their behaviors in adulthood. They found that histories of childhood traumas are significantly related to the reports of hallucination. According to them, past adverse childhood experience should be looked for when attending to people with a history of hallucination.

  • What needs to be Done/How to Assess and Address the Impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences

Finally, the study of the link between ACE and mental health would be incomplete without identifying how to handle clients who presents with psychosocial disorder. Health practitioners should be informed on how to assess the historical cases of child abuse.

Waite, Roberta, Gerrity, Patricia, and Roxana Arango. “Assessment for and Response to Adverse Childhood Experiences.” Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services 48, no. 12 (12, 2010): 51-61,

This article documents the most appropriate ways of assisting the victims of ACE when they are admitted to a health institution with different psychiatry disorders. The Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services is among the leading publishers of peer-reviewed articles and other resources for mental health nurses. Though listed as the last article in this annotated appendix, this article is among the primary resource in the study of ACE and mental health. From the above annotated resources, it is apparent that adverse childhood experience impacts on the mental health of an individual. The impact may manifest in childhood or even throughout the person’s lifespan. Nevertheless, how should the medical service provider approach the issue of adverse childhood experience? Waite and others undertook to comprehensively advise the medical practitioner, particularly the nurses on how to approach and assess their client’s trauma history. The article expounds on the necessary screening measures that should be used to identify ACEs. It also deliberates on the ethical responsibilities of the health professional in addressing traumatic experiences. This article is highly recommendable to the present and upcoming health professionals; especially the mental health specialists.