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PACEs Science

At PACEs Connection, we believe in following the research. In the last few years, researchers have started to examine the impacts of positive childhood experiences (PCEs) on children and adults. We at PACEs Connection are particularly interested in the in

PACEs Science: Neurobiology and Biomedical Effects

Neurobiology and Biomedical Effects

  • Background

    • The Brain Story online learning modules, 2018
      This thorough set of modules from Alberta Family Wellness Initiative include text documents, presentations and videos. Each of these modules has several parts. The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative focuses on the Canadian community; the modules draw from contributions of experts in Canada and the U.S., and its content is applicable in any country. The modules include the following:

      • brain architecture and development; 

      • early experiences and gene expression; 

      • building cognitive, emotional and social capacities; 

      • positive, tolerable and toxic stress; 

      • brain plasticity and behavioural change; 

      • interventions and treatments in children's mental health; 

      • the development of addiction; 

      • different kinds of addiction; and

      • prevention, intervention and treatment of addiction; and policy implications.

    • Three Core Concepts in Early Development2018
      This three-part video series from the Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child depicts how advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and genomics describe how early experiences are built into our bodies and brains.

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences, Allostasis, Allostatic Load, and Age-related Disease, 2012
    Research reviewed here suggests that adverse childhood experiences are associated with changes in biological systems responsible for maintaining physiological stability through environmental changes, or allostasis. 
    [Danese, A., & McEwen, B.S. (2012). Adverse childhood experiences, allostasis, allostatic load, and age-related disease. Physiology & behavior, 106(1), 29-39.]

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on Mental Disorders in Young Adulthood: Latent Classes and Community Violence Exposure, 2020 
    This study aims to (1) identify underlying ACE classes including exposure to community violence, and (2) investigate the associations of ACE classes with mental disorders in adulthood: depression, anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Findings supported the differences in mental disorders in young adulthood by types of exposures to ACEs. The study highlights the importance of considering types of ACEs exposure for promoting mental health of young adults. 
    [Lee H., Kim Y., Terry J. (2020). Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on mental disorders in young adulthood: Latent classes and community violence exposure, Preventive Medicine, 134, 106039.]

  • The Enduring Effects of Abuse and Related Adverse Experiences in Childhood, 2006
    The authors found that a graded relationship of the ACE score to 18 different outcomes in multiple domains theoretically parallels the cumulative exposure of the developing brain to the stress response with resulting impairment in multiple brain structures and functions. 
    [Anda, R.F., Felitti, V.J., Bremner, J.D., Walker, J.D., Whitfield, C., Perry, B.D., Dube, S.R., & Giles, W.H. (2006). The enduring effects of abuse and related adverse experiences in childhood. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 256(3), 174-186.]

  • Exposure to Violence during Childhood is Associated with Telomere Erosion from 5 to 10 Years of Age: A Longitudinal Study, 2012
    Researchers examined telomere erosion in relation to children’s exposure to violence, which has known long-term consequences for well-being. 
    [Shalev, I., Moffitt, T.E., Sugden, K., Williams, B., Houts, R.M., Danese, A., Mill, J., Arseneault, L, & Caspi, A. (2013). Exposure to violence during childhood is associated with telomere erosion from 5 to 10 years of age: a longitudinal study. Molecular Psychiatry, 18(5), 576-581.]

  • Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health, 2020
    Roadmap for Resilience serves as a blueprint for how communities, states, and nations can recognize and effectively address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress as a root cause to some of the most harmful, persistent, and expensive societal and health challenges facing our world today. The report provides clear cross-sector and equitable response solutions, models, and best practices to be replicated or tailored to serve community needs. This comprehensive report brings together ​insights from global experts across sectors, specialties, and disciplines to promote science-based approaches to primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies for ACEs and toxic stress. The report further specifies a sector-specific and cross-sector roadmap for addressing ACEs and toxic stress at the state level, prioritizing prevention, ​early detection, evidence-based interventions and equity in outcomes, ​highlighting the need for enhanced coordination across the following sectors: healthcare; public health; social services; early childhood; education; and justice.

  • Spanking and Adult Mental Health Impairment: The Case for the Designation of Spanking as an Adverse Childhood Experience, 2017
    Spanking currently is not considered an ACE, but the physical and emotional abuse shown in previous research to correlate highly with poor health outcomes may be similar in nature to spanking. This study proposes that spanking is empirically similar to physical and emotional abuse and including spanking with abuse adds to our understanding of mental health problems.
    [Afifi, T.O., Ford, D., Gershoff, E.T., Merrick, M., Grogan-Kaylor, A., Ports, K.A., MacMillan, H.L., Holden, G.W., Taylor, C.A., Lee, S.J., & Bennett, R.P. (2017). Spanking and adult mental health impairment: The case for the designation of spanking as an adverse childhood experience. Child Abuse & Neglect, 71, 24-31.]