Screening for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs): Cautions and suggestions

Child Abuse Negl. 2018 Nov;85:174-179. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.07.016. Epub 2017 Aug 4.


This article argues that it is still premature to start widespread screening for adverse childhood experiences (ACE) in health care settings until we have answers to several important questions: 1) what are the effective interventions and responses we need to have in place to offer to those with positive ACE screening, 2) what are the potential negative outcomes and costs to screening that need to be buffered in any effective screening regime, and 3) what exactly should we be screening for? The article makes suggestions for needed research activities.

Keywords: Domestic violence; Neglect; Pediatrician; Sexual abuse.

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / economics
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration