Trauma Informed

Trauma - What Is It?

Trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. (SAMSA, 2012).

Up to 75% of college students report having experienced a traumatic event in their life. These types of trauma include adverse childhood experiences, traumatic physical and/or emotional events, interpersonal violence, ongoing social/socioeconomic stressors, Post-traumatic stress disorder, discrimination, historical/cultural adversity.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Study:

Researchers surveyed over 17,000 participants; 54% women, 46% men with a mean age of 56. Seventy 75% of participants were white, 39% were college graduates, 36% had some college education, 18% were high school graduates, and only 7% had not graduated from high school. Participants were asked about their ACEs and current health status and behaviors.

ACES include:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Mother treated violently
  • Mental illness in household or household member attempting suicide
  • Parental separation or divorce
  • Incarcerated household member
  • Emotional neglect
  • Physical neglect

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study found that there is a significant relationship between ACES and long term health risks, mental health, substance abuse, and suicide. 

64% of participants reported at least one ACE, and more than 1 in 5 participants reported three or more ACEs. The higher the ACE score, the higher risk for the following (Feliti, Anda, Nordenberg, et. al, 1998):

  • Alcoholism/ alcohol abuse - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Substance abuse - Depression
  • Risk for intimate partner violence - Fetal death
  • Multiple sexual partners - Health-related quality of life
  • Early initiation of smoking - Ischemic heart disease
  • Suicide attempts - Liver disease
  • Unintended pregnancy - Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Early initiation of sexual activity - Early death
  • Adolescent pregnancy - Poor academic achievement
  • Early initiation of smoking - Risk of Sexual Violence

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