Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study: Childhood Trauma Affects School Performance

My questions:

  • Has the ACE Study been addressed by and incorporated into Trauma theory?
  • How can creative writing classrooms recognize and address the results of childhood trauma without exacerbating the situation for at-risk students?
  • Can the medical epidemiology used in the ACE study be used to determine what “counts” as trauma? Does the quantification of adverse pathologies (e.g. heart disease, smoking) necessarily indicate that traumatic nature of the past experiences?
  • If an individual takes up detrimental behaviors (e.g. smoking, gambling), then would that provide a priori evidence of past trauma? My thinking is no – people do still have the freedom to make poor decisions on their own. But what about affluenza? Would we consider that a kind of neglect? And isn’t neglect a form of trauma? This, to me, indicates that medical pathology alone will not be sufficient to describe what “counts” as trauma.
  • From Wikipedia page on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study:

    Children who are exposed to many adverse childhood experiences may be overloaded with stress hormones, leaving them in a constant state of fight or flight, and unable to focus at school. One in approximately three or four children have experienced significant ACEs.[34] A study by the Area Health Education Center of Washington State University found that students with at least three ACEs are three times as likely to experience academic failure, six times as likely to have behavioral problems, and five times as likely to have attendance problems.[34] These students may have trouble trusting teachers and other adults, and may have difficulty creating and maintaining relationships.[35] The trauma-informed school movement aims to train teachers and staff to help children self-regulate, and to help families that are having problems that result in children’s normal response to trauma, rather that simply jumping to punishment. It also seeks to provide behavioral consequences that will not re-traumatize a child. Punishment is often ineffective, and better results can often be achieved with positive reinforcement.[36] Out-of-school suspensions can be particularly bad for students with difficult home lives; forcing students to remain at home may increase their distrust of adults.

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