Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences: The Role of Etiological, Evaluation, and Implementation Research

Am J Prev Med. 2022 Jun;62(6 Suppl 1):S6-S15. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2021.10.024.


Research on adverse childhood experiences is a vital part of the data-to-action link and the development of evidence-based public health and violence prevention practice. Etiological research helps to elucidate the key risk and protective factors for adverse childhood experiences and outcome research examines the consequences of exposure to them. Evaluation research is critical to building the evidence base for strategies that are likely to have a significant impact on preventing and reducing adverse experiences during childhood. Implementation research efforts inform the movement and scale-up of evidence-based findings to public health practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Violence Prevention located in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is investing in a number of research initiatives that are designed to advance what is known about the causes and consequences of adverse childhood experiences (i.e., etiological research), the strategies that are effective at reducing and preventing them (i.e., evaluation research), and how to best adapt and scale effective strategies (i.e., implementation research). This article complements the other articles in this Special Supplement by briefly providing a review of reviews for each of these areas and highlighting recent research investments and strategic directions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the area of child abuse and neglect and adverse childhood experience prevention. Research investments are critical to advancing the evidence base on the prevention of adverse childhood experiences and to ensure safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments so that all children can live to their fullest potential.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences*
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Child
  • Child Abuse* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Protective Factors
  • United States
  • Violence