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HLT 111 - Health and the Young Child - Textbook

Chapter 7: Adverse Childhood Environments

Chapter Objectives

At the conclusion of this chapter students will be able to

  1. Define and describe the concept of adverse childhood experiences
  2. Describe the impact of early life experiences on lifelong children’s physical health
  3. Describe the  impact of early life experiences on children’s lifelong  mental health
  4. Describe the  impact of early life experiences on children’s learning
  5. Explain the measures taken to prevent child abuse and neglect
  6. Outline protective measures  used at home and school to prevent adversity in children


Childhood traumatic stress from violence, abuse, corporal punishment and neglect contribute to adverse educational outcomes such as excessive absenteeism, school dropout and school performance. 

Problems with emotional regulation that result from maltreatment can also interfere with positive learning, class attendance, and problems with language development and communication. 

Educational neglect requires more attention from the field. It is a form of maltreatment that lacks sufficient studies to fully understand why it occurs and how it can impact children’s ability to learn and educationally succeed. Adverse childhood experience  includes several forms of child abuse such as emotional or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional psychological neglect and growing up in a dysfunctional family characterized by domestic violence or one or more parents having mental illness or substance abuse problem. Adverse childhood experience influences have significant influence on the physical, mental and emotional health of the child later adult life.

Chapter Review and Discussion Questions


Chapter Review

  1. What are the untoward experiences that define Adverse Childhood experiences (ACE)?
  2. Explain the relationship between number of adverse childhood experiences and negative health outcomes.
  3. How do ACE affect physical health? Mental health?
  4. How do you determine if a young child  has an adverse childhood experience?
  5. What can be done to prevent ACE in the family?


Group Discussion

Discuss the role of the teacher and the school in preventing adverse childhood experiences and /or  reducing  the impact of adverse childhood experiences on the child’s health and learning.