Critical Summary of “The Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Young Adults”

Critical Summary of “The Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Young Adults”

The article “Adverse Childhood Experiences” by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration provides details about adverse childhood experiences which tend to be a significant factor for substance abuse disorder. The article defines adverse childhood experiences as traumatic and stressful events such as neglect and abuse. At the same time, they may as well entail household dysfunctions such as witnessing the occurrence of domestic violence or even being raised in a family whose members experience substance abuse disorders. The article also mentions that adverse childhood experience is associated with the development and prevalence of an extensive range of health issues through the lifespan of an individual, including those related to the misuse of drug substances. The article also goes ahead to describe ACEs and the prevention efforts, stating that the prevention of ACEs and taking part in early detection of those who have undergone through the experience can have great impacts on a variety of critical health issues.

The article has comprehensively described ways through which one can strengthen efforts for preventing substance abuse. Just as the article states, the article says the importance of informing local decision-making gathering county and state-level data for the ACEs, enhancing ACEs awareness among community and state-level substance abuse prevention experts, and focusing on the significance of ACEs on various behavioral health disciplines. With a structured chronology of points, the article effectively provides approaches that can be used to prevent or minimize substance abuse. From my professional experience, it is no doubt that the inclusion of ACEs among primary the primary risk and protection elements when taking part in prevention planning activities is a key strategy for its reduction.

The article has also included evidence to support the argument presented here. According to the article, research studies show a strong relationship between substance abuse disorders and ACEs, and the resulting behavioral issues. Children who are exposed to severe traumatic events often experience a disturbance in their neurological development. Therefore, cognitive functioning or the ability to deal with disruptive or negative emotions can be compromised. The article also continues to provide evidence that over time, mostly during the adolescent stage, children can take on negative coping approaches like self-harm or substance abuse. The author describes these coping mechanisms as unhealthy and can cause diseases, premature death, social issues, and even disability.

Reading down the article, the author discusses the relationship between ACEs and behavioral problems. It is stated that behaviors such as suicide attempts, sleep disturbances among adults, episodes of lifetime depression, risky sexual conducts, fetal mortality, pregnancy outcomes, poor physical health outcomes, and poor dental health are related with ACEs development. In each of the behavioral problems, the author provides supporting evidence for extensive reading for a better understanding of the issue. The author has effectively provided various scholarly articles to support the points presented.

This article provides a great source of knowledge for understanding adverse childhood experiences and its effects. As noted from the article, it is no doubt that childhood adversity, which is normally characterized by neglect, household dysfunction, and abuse, is an issue that has great impacts on people, families, and the society as a whole. Therefore, expanding much on the issue and how it can be prevented is a significant step towards ensuring that the audience understands the issue and can deal with it effectively. Research evidence supports the points mentioned in this article that adverse childhood experience (ACEs) are related to health decline in adulthood including the development of cardiovascular diseases that can negatively impact the lives of many.

Based on the components of the article, I can add that to help control ACEs; it is essential to consider the social contexts where ACEs develops. For instance, the parents who live in poverty with no better or limited employment opportunities, inadequate support system, and lower education have a higher probability of expressing more unfavourable parenting approaches such as abuse, poor parental checking, and neglect. Therefore, efforts should be emphasized on addressing upstream basic determinants of ACEs that can help open the intergenerational cycles that associate early life with diseases experienced in later life.

In conclusion, the article “Adverse Childhood Experiences” by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration provides an extensive description of the adverse childhood experience its impacts on adults, and how it can be minimized or prevented. The article stipulates that early adversity including child neglect and abuse is often associated with diminished health across generations and life courses. It expands on the less well-understood fact regarding the association between early adversity and adult socioeconomic statuses such as income, employment and education. It is critical for those living with ACEs to improve their lives and experiences.





SAMHSA (2018) Adverse Childhood Experiences. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved from