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Martin County Center: (507) 238-4757
Faribault County Center: (507) 526-3265
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Martin County Center: (507) 238-4757
Faribault County Center: (507) 526-3265

Home   |   Contact   |  Calendar  |   Blog

Calculate Your ACEs and PCEs SCORES 

What ACEs do you have?

There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. (There are many others…see below.) Five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and experiencing divorce of parents. Each type of trauma counts as one. So a person who’s been physically abused, with one alcoholic parent, and a mother who was beaten up has an ACE score of three.

There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — racism, bullying, watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver (grandmother, mother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, witnessing a grandmother abusing a father, involvement with the foster care system, involvement with the juvenile justice system, etc. The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature.

The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of health consequences, depending on the positive childhood experiences you had (see below).

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To calculate your ACEs Score, review each statement below. For each statement you answer yes, add one point. At the end of the questions, add up your total score. This is your ACEs score. 

Prior to your 18th birthday:

Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Were your parents ever separated or divorced?

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Was your mother or stepmother: Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide? 

 No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did a household member go to prison?

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Now add up your “Yes” answers: This is your ACE Score

What are PCEs — Positive Childhood Experiences?

Although there is still much to learn about ACEs and how to prevent and mitigate their effects, we also all know that childhood experiences are not limited to those that involve adversity. All childhood experiences matter. In the last few years, researchers have started to examine the impacts of positive childhood experiences (PCEs) on children and adults.

Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) are experiences during childhood that promote safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments. PCEs can help children develop a sense of belonging, connectedness, and build resilience. 

PCEs can also protect children from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).  ACEs are potentially traumatic experiences during childhood that can affect lifelong health. PCEs can buffer the negative effects of ACES that have occurred (CDC, 2019). Still, even children without traumatic experiences need to feel belonging and connectedness to thrive.  

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To calculate your PACEs Score, review each statement below. For each statement you answer yes, add one point. At the end of the questions, add up your total score. This is your PACEs score. 

To find out what positive childhood experiences you have, answer the following questions.

How much or how often during your childhood did you:

Feel able to talk to your family about feelings;

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Feel your family stood by you during difficult times;

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Enjoy participating in community traditions;

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Feel a sense of belonging in high school;

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Feel supported by friends;

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Have at least two non-parent adults who took genuine interest in you; 

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Feel safe and protected by an adult in your home.

No___ If Yes, add 1 ___

Now add up your “Yes” answers: _ This is your PCE Score