Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can take many forms. Traumatic events for children from birth to age 17 can range from economic hardships to the deaths of their parents.
For far too many children, the ACE that created toxic levels of stress resulted from the divorce of their mothers and fathers.
Higher ACE scores are linked to children suffering from alcohol and drug abuse, obesity and overall poor physical health, depression and suicide. Some equate the effects of divorce or other horrific incidents to children suffering physical injuries or chronic illnesses.
According to an annual report released by America’ Health Ranking, the national average ACE score is 21.7. One in 10 children experienced three or more ACEs by the time they turned 18. Arizona ranks as the least healthy state in the country at 30.6 percent. Eighteen percent of children had three or more ACEs or traumatic events.
Not surprisingly, Arizona also ranks high in parents separating and divorcing.
Arizona shares the dubious distinction with Arkansas, Montana, New Mexico and Ohio. Among the states that occupy the bottom tier, one in every seven minor children suffered multiple emotional traumas.