Change Indicator

ACE: Children who experienced at least one adverse childhood consequence in South Carolina

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Why This Indicator Matters

Drs. Robert Anda and Vincent Felitti studied the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) on a number of health behaviors and found that higher ACE total scores were related to a greater occurrence of health problems (Felitti et al., 1998).
Research indicates that ACEs are more common in low-income families and among certain racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States (Slopen et al., 2016). Enduring barriers to social and economic opportunity on the basis of race (e.g. hiring discrimination, predatory lending and segregated schooling) may drive these disparities by increasing the likelihood of family circumstances that produce ACEs.

The good news is that what's predictable is preventable. The first step in preventing ACEs is understanding what they are. 
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Definition and Source



ACE data are collected via the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) managed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The BRFSS is a cross-sectional, telephone-based survey of health-related risk behaviors, history of chronic health conditions, and preventative behaviors. Non-institutionalized adults 18 years or older are randomly selected to take part in the survey. The survey is conducted year-round using random digit dialing (RDD) techniques on both landlines and cell phones. Children’s Trust collected the data through the BRFSS with funds provided through the community-based child abuse prevention funds (2014 and 2015) and the BlueCross BlueShield Foundation of South Carolina (2016-2018.)

Data Source

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017-2019 & 2021.


Note: All percentages may not total to 100% due to weighting. 

Last Updated

March 2023