Understanding and Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (PSY4229.01)

Emily Waterman

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur when individuals are under 18 years old that undermine children’s sense of safety, stability, and bonding with other people (for example, child abuse, food insecurity, witnessing intimate partner violence, caregiver incarceration). In this course we will define ACEs, ACE scores, and trauma, and discuss the impact of ACEs on individuals, families, and communities. We will seek to understand the scope of ACEs in the United States and how ACEs both are caused by and sustain racial, gender, and economic inequality. Despite the negative impact of ACEs, research shows that ACEs are preventable. We will discuss individual (for example, empowerment programs), family-based (for example, parenting skills programs) and community (for example, food systems policy) strategies to prevent ACEs.


Learning Outcomes:
1: Students will be able to define ACEs and describe the impact of ACEs on individuals, families, and communities.
2: Students will be able to describe risk factors for ACEs at different levels of the social-ecological model (individual, family, community, society).
3: Students will be able to articulate rates of ACEs and how inequity causes ACEs.
4: Students will be able to name numerous effective programs and policies to prevent ACEs.


Delivery Method: Remotely accessible
Prerequisites: Permission from the instructor; previous sociology or psychology coursework recommended.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Updates , Psychology , Remotely Accessible
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