The CDC’s ACE Study summarized in 14-minute video from Academy on Violence & Abuse

The Academy on Violence and Abuse, which educates health care professionals about the often unrecognizable health effects of violence and abuse, produced a four-hour DVD of interviews with the co-founders of the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, released a 14-minute executive summary.

The organization released a three-minute teaser last year. For those unfamiliar with the ACE STudy, this 14-minute puts a little more meat on the bones.

And if you want to know what your ACE score is — as well as how you’re doing on building resilience into your life — go to the survey: Got Your ACE Score? The ACE survey has 10 questions, and the resilience survey has 14.

A 15-second look at how U.S. population became obese over 25 years

The Atlantic.com posted an animated graphic that takes us from 1985….

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…..to 2010. In just 15 short seconds, you can watch the obesity epidemic balloon across the U.S. The CDC defines obesity as having a body mass index that’s 30 or higher.

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Reporter James Hamblin also posted the 10 metropolitan areas with the lowest obesity rates, and the 11 with the highest. The pegs at either end are Boulder, CO, at 12.5 percent, and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX at 38.5%.

Obesity is linked to childhood adversity. One of the CDC’s ACE Study publications found a link physical, sexual and verbal child abuse and obesity in at least 8 percent of the adult obese population. If there are 70 million obese and morbidly obese Americans, as the CDC says, that means that several million obese and morbidly obese people are likely to have suffered physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse during their childhoods. (It should be noted that this particular publication looked at only three of the 10 types of adverse childhood experiences.)

A number of other researchers are looking into the link between obesity and childhood adversity. Here

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The secret to fixing school discipline problems? Change the behavior of adults

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Godwin Higa, principal, Cherokee Point Elementary School

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Two kindergarteners at Cherokee Point Elementary School in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood get into a fight on the playground. Their teacher sends them to the principal’s office. 

Instead of suspending or expelling the six-year-olds, as happens in many schools, Principal Godwin Higa ushers them to his side of the desk. He sits down so that he can talk with them eye-to-eye and quietly asks: “What happened?” He points to one of the boys. “You go first.” 

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Rape is not inevitable; 25 years of Prozac; how racism is bad for health

rapeThree posts caught my eye last night. The first was by Jessica Valenti, who writes about feminism, sexuality and social justice for the Nation. She looked at the vitriolic response to political commentator and writer Zerlina Maxwell’s appearance on Fox News’ Hannity. Maxwell made the point that having a gun doesn’t prevent rape. Valenti quoted her as saying: “I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there.”

A headline on TheBlaze.com, a right-wing site, shouted Democratic Strategist’s Shocking Claim: Women Don’t Need Guns for Self-Defense, Just Tell Men “Not to Rape Women” and called her approach “bizarre”. Online comments were, well, what you might expect. Valenti pointed out:

The truth is that focusing on ways women can prevent rape will always backfire. Not only because it’s ineffective—what a woman wears or

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Five numbers to remember about early childhood development

harvard Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child came up with this interactive infographic that provides a succinct, simple explanation about the importance of each of those five numbers. Altogether, according to the infographic, they add up to this:

Getting things right the first time is easier and more effective than trying to fix them later.
Early childhood matters because experiences early in life can have a lasting impact on later learning, behavior, and health.
Highly specialized interventions are needed as early as possible for children experiencing toxic stress.
Early life experiences actually get under the skin and into the body, with lifelong effects on adult physical and mental health.
All of society benefits from investments in early childhood programs.

Violence is men’s fault, says Dallas mayor: “We’ve created those traditions”

rawlingsDallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said something pretty interesting a couple of weeks ago. Violence is men’s fault, he declared. Men have to own up to it. Men have to change it.

According to this story by KERA reporter BJ Austin, this is exactly what Rawlings said:

“This violence is our fault. It’s not the women’s fault,” he said. “We have been the violent gender over the centuries, and we must own up to it. Tradition has enabled the action we see around us, and we’ve created those traditions. The culture of male violence has only been perpetuated by locker room talk, radio talk shows, video games, how fathers talk to sons, and our inability to deal with anger living deep inside.”

I fully recognize that women are capable of committing violence and do. And men are often victims of violence. However, there’s no denying that men carry out most of the gun violence, the rapes, and the assaults on women and children, who are usually members of their own family.  This post, however, isn’t about blame. It’s actually about moving on from blame.

What’s most significant about Rawlings’ statement is that — for a brief moment — someone swung the spotlight 180 degrees in talking about violence against women and children. Why is that a big deal?

Well, as we say in the South, let’s take a f’rinstance…..Let’s say that the media reported — and the community talked about — convenience store robberies and assaults the same way we talk about family violence. First, the local media wouldn’t report each robbery. We’d do a series every year during Convenience Store Robbery Awareness Month. The story package would focus only on the convenience store clerks: “Over the last year, 56 convenience store clerks were robbed and assaulted in OurFairCity. Half were beaten so badly that they were hospitalized. Because they could not return to work right after the robbery, they lost their jobs and could not pay the rent. There are not enough shelters in the city to house them and their children.”

In real life, convenience store robberies are reported more regularly than family violence, and the focus is on the perpetrator: “Joe Shmo was arrested last night. He is alleged to have robbed the Corner Convenience Store at the intersection of Main and Central. Convenience store clerk Randolph Bacon said Shmo held a gun to his head and knocked him unconscious after he opened the cash register. Off-duty policewoman Sue Smith happened to be in the store and arrested Shmo after he grabbed the cash.” Shmo’s arrest photo accompanies the story.

So, let’s swing that spotlight around in family violence, often referred to as the larger catch-all, IPV. Interpersonal violence refers to any violence between couples, married or not. The traditional report?

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Minnesota ACE survey finds more than half of state experienced one or more types of childhood adversity

Minnesota released the findings of a state-wide ACE survey today.  The results echo the CDC’s groundbreaking ACE Study. A telephone survey of 13,520 people in 2011 revealed that 55% had one or more types of adverse childhood experiences and, of those, more than half had experienced at least two or more.

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Participants in the survey were asked whether they had experienced one or more of the following nine types of adversity: loss of a parent through separation or divore, watching a mother being abused, a family member in prison, a household member who’s an alcoholic or addicted to some other drug, a household member who’s diagnosed with depression or other mental illness; verbal, sexual and/or physical abuse.

The most common were:

  • Verbal abuse — 28 percent
  • Alcoholic or substance-abusing parent — 24 percent
  • Mental illness  — 17 percent
  • Physical abuse — 16 percent

According to a media release issued by the Minnesota Department of Health:

Minnesota’s results are consistent with those found by the initial ACE study and in other states. First, ACEs are common; second, ACEs frequently occur together, and third, higher ACE scores put a person more at risk for poorer health and well-being outcomes as an adult. For example, Minnesotans with more ACEs were more likely to rate their health as fair or poor, to have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, to report smoking and chronic drinking, to have been diagnosed with asthma, and to be obese. In

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