Survey shows 1 in 5 Iowans have 3 or more adverse childhood experiences

iowaacesIowa’s 2012 ACE survey found that 55 percent of Iowans have at least one adverse childhood experience, while one in five of the state’s residents have an ACE score of 3 or higher.

In the Iowa study, there was more emotional abuse than physical and sexual abuse, while adult substance abuse was higher than other household dysfunctions.iowaprevalence

This survey echoed the original CDC ACE Study in that as the number of types of adverse childhood experiences increase, the risk of chronic health problems — such as diabetes, depression, heart disease and cancer — increases. So does violence, becoming a victim of violence, and missing work days.


iowaschoolAmong the many interesting graphics in the report was one that showed how 5 out of every 30 students in an Iowa classroom live with a parent who has an ACE score of 4 or more. Children who live with parents who have high ACE scores may be living in situations of toxic stress; the kids’ behavior — acting out, withdrawing, etc. — may indicate their own normal response to toxic stress.

The state also provided a county-by-county breakdown of ACE scores, shown at the end of this post.


The state’s results were similar to ACE surveys in Wisconsin, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Tennessee and Washington. To date, 21 states have done or are doing ACE surveys.

Details of the data are being presented at the 2013 Iowa Adverse Childhood Experiences Summit today in Des Moines. We’ll have more information about the summit in a later blog post.

6 responses

  1. Pingback: Protecting Children From Toxic Stress | Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health

  2. Pingback: Toxic stress in children–and what programs can do to help : The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring

  3. Pingback: Protecting Children From Toxic Stress | Stop Abuse Campaign

  4. Pingback: FixesU » Protecting Children From Toxic Stress

  5. Pingback: Protecting Children From Toxic Stress | The Law Offices of Xochitl M. Garcia

  6. Pingback: Want your ACE score? Now there’s an app for that! « ACEs Too High

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