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Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on the Health of the Michigan Adult Population

September 2016

C. Fussman, P. McKane


Data from the 2013 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System shows that current adults who suffered with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are more likely to have poor mental health, depression, asthma, and to currently smoke. The MiBRFSS asked adults if they experienced ACEs, including verbal, physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, violence in the home, substance abuse in the home, mental illness in the home, separation or divorce of parents, a family member incarcerated, or a combination of these. These ACEs impact adult’s later physical health, mental health, and health behaviors, especially among those who claimed to have suffered from 4+ ACEs.

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Policy Implications

A strong and healthy relationship between parents and children helps them to become resilient in the face of adverse experiences. However, children who suffer from ACEs do not always grow into adults with poor mental or physical health; a person’s response to toxic stress can be affected by a genetic predisposition or stable and healthy relationships early in life.

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