Should COVID-19 be considered an adverse child experience?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The term adverse childhood experience (ACE) covers a number of different traumatic events, including various forms of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction, that occur before the age of 18 years. ACEs are recognised as predictors of future poor health outcomes, increased risk of mental illness and chronic diseases and reduced life expectancy. The current COVID-19 pandemic may be amplifying some ACEs in individuals by increasing social isolation or financial pressures and as a result of job loss, school closures, and exposure to the morbidity and mortality of the disease. This article considers the literature and asks the question ‘Can COVID-19 be considered an ACE itself?’ Ultimately, the long-term implications of an accumulation of risk and harm need to be considered and embedded in practice, to effectively respond to the future needs of vulnerable children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of child health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2021


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