Batten College of Arts and Letters


M.A. Lifespan and Digital Communication

Publication Date

Spring 2020




Felitti et al., (1985; 1998) developed Adverse Childhood Experiences test (ACEs), after researching adults suffering from obesity and addictive overeating. Positive correlations were linked with traumatic childhood experiences, such as severe physical, sexual and mental abuse with those participants struggling with obesity. ACEs is widely accepted in the field of psychology, proving individuals with higher ACEs scores indicate higher probability for mental illness and high risk deviant like substance abuse and felony crime. Identifying students with high ACEs before entering grade school may give educators and institutions the ability positively alter character and behavior outcomes of these victimized children. Nicholson, et al., (2019) believe in a range of trauma informed practices which can be used in their early childhood programs creating “strength-based environments” supporting the flourishment of children's health, healing, and well-being. This proposal is for the continued proactive attempt to increase the future well-being outcomes for children who have experienced extreme trauma in early childhood may prove most beneficial in early education. Utilizing trauma informed care programs, traditional education practices and new positive education curriculums “strengthening” Seligman’s (2011) Values-In-Action (VIA), educators and institutions may influence positive future well-being outcomes and better mental health care for those students with high ACEs scores. It is likely that individual life expectancy may increase for those high ACEs score if implementation of ACEs tests are used throughout students early education.


ACEs, Childhood, Curriculum, Education, Flourish, Strength, VIA


Developmental Psychology | Early Childhood Education | Family, Life Course, and Society



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Positive Communication Across the Lifespan: Early Childhood ACEs to VIAs