Our Challenge

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Toxic Stress

The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation. Unfortunately, the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) including abuse, neglect, domestic violence and family dysfunction and their long-term effects are clearly a major determinant of the health and social well-being of the nation.

The more adverse experiences in childhood, the greater the likelihood of developmental delays and later health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, substance abuse, and depression. For more than a decade, researchers have understood that frequent or continual stress on young children who lack adequate protection and support from adults, is strongly associated with increases in the risks of lifelong health and social problems resulting in toxic stress.

Research also indicates that supportive, responsive relationships with caring adults as early in life as possible can prevent or reverse the damaging effects of toxic stress response.

Conceptual Framework of the ACE Study

ACE Study Graphic


While prevention of childhood stress is the best solution, it is never too late to mitigate its effects. The Village Network addresses this growing problem with its new and proven treatment models that are producing measurable outcomes of success.

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