Adverse Childhood Experiences, Resilience and Mindfulness-Based Approaches: Common Denominator Issues for Children with Emotional, Mental, or Behavioral Problems

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2016 Apr;25(2):139-56. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2015.12.001. Epub 2016 Jan 11.


US children with emotional, mental, or behavioral conditions (EMB) have disproportionate exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). There are theoretic and empirical explanations for early and lifelong physical, mental, emotional, educational, and social impacts of the resultant trauma and chronic stress. Using mindfulness-based, mind-body approaches (MBMB) may strengthen families and promote child resilience and success. This paper examines associations between EMB, ACEs, and protective factors, such as child resilience, parental coping/stress, and parent-child engagement. Findings encourage family-centered and mindfulness-based approaches to address social and emotional trauma and potentially interrupt cycles of ACEs and prevalence of EMB.

Keywords: Adverse childhood experiences; Child and adolescent mental health; Mindfulness; Parent stress; Protective factors; Resilience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Behavioral Symptoms / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Problem Behavior / psychology
  • Protective Factors
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • United States / epidemiology