Original ACE Questions
We used the original Center’s for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente ACE study questions which included 11 traumatic experiences covering abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Each question is asked in a yes or no format, and the number of yes responses is then added together to represent an individual’s “ACE score” or cumulative exposure to adverse experiences. The original ACE study survey does not capture all forms of traumatic experiences, frequency or severity.
- Did you live with anyone who was depressed, mentally ill, or suicidal?
- Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic?
- Did you live with anyone who used illegal street drugs or who abused prescription medications?
- Did you live with anyone who served time or was sentenced to serve time in a prison, jail, or other correctional facility?
- Were your parents separated or divorced?
- How often did your parents or adults in your home ever slap, hit, kick, punch, or beat each other up?
- Before age 18, how often did a parent or adult in your home ever hit, beat, kick, or physically hurt you in any way?
- How often did a parent or adult in your home ever swear at you, insult you, or put you down?
- How often did anyone at least five years older than you or an adult ever touch you sexually?
- How often did anyone at least five years older than you or an adult try to make you touch them sexually?
- How often did anyone at least five years older than you or an adult force you to have sex?
- Supplemental ACE Questions
Since the original ACE study took place, new research has been conducted that addresses social factors associated with ACEs. For example, the CDC teamed up with the Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund to develop eight additional ACE survey questions that cover experiences related to poverty and neglect. Children’s Trust of South Carolina recognizes the importance of capturing a wide-range of experiences and is currently collecting data these eight additional ACE survey questions.
- How often were you hungry because your family could not afford food?
- How often were you homeless when you were growing up?
- How often did you visit a dentist?
- For how much of your childhood was there an adult in your household who made you feel safe and protected?
- Did your mother graduate from high school?
- Did your father graduate from high school?
- For how much of your childhood did you live in a single-parent household?
- For how much of your childhood was there an adult in your household who tried hard to make sure your basic needs were met?