A Review : How Exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences Shapes Our Health and Wellness
Thompson, Courtney C.
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The aim of this literature review is to review the critical points of current knowledge and substantive findings relating to the health effects Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in the human body. The review leads with a general overview of what ACEs are and introduces some key concepts that make this a public health issue. As the paper further develops, the biological effects of adversity are introduced through the lens of toxic stress. The bodily systems introduced in this paper include the immune, cardiovascular, and psychological systems. The critical points and substantive findings gathered from this review were that toxic stress stemming from childhood adversity had substantial health impacts and can cause chronic diseases or ailments in adulthood. Concluding the review, it was found that alongside a consistent and nurturing parental figure, trauma-informed care of patients within a society impacted by ACEs can serve as a buffer and help to mitigate the health risks of adversity.