See below for relevant pieces of reading that have inspired our thinking.

There was a flurry of academic papers, policy papers and blogs written about ACEs between 2017 and 2020, so Gary Walsh and Andy Turner collated them and created a thread on Twitter. You can read the original thread here. The Centre for Research on Children and Families have also created a reading list which you can view here.

Readings in this section are listed in date order in the following categories:

  • Alternative models of support for children and families
  • Critiquing ACEs: introductory readings
  • Critiquing ACEs: additional readings

*If you cannot access an academic paper, please note that academics are normally happy to send you a copy of their articles if you get in touch and ask*

Alternative models of support

Parents, poverty and the state: reducing pressures on parents and increasing their capabilities

Naomi Eisenstadt and Carey Oppenheim, September 2019

Adverse Childhood Experiences: a social justice perspective

Gary Walsh, May 2019

Protecting Children: A Social Model

Brid Featherstone, Anna Gupta, Kate Morris and Sue White, September 2018

Poverty and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Morag Treanor, September 2018

The Future of Healing: Shifting From Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement

Shawn Ginwright, May 2018

Social Justice, The Common Weal and Children and Young People in Scotland

Prof John Davis, Dr Louise Hill, Prof Kay Tisdall, Liam Cairns and Selwyn McCausland, 2014

Critiquing ACEs: introductory readings

Adverse Childhood Experiences in Scotland: Critical reflections on policy and practice

Davidson, Critchley & Wright (Eds), 2020

Inside the Adverse Childhood Experience Score: Strengths, Limitations, and Misapplications

Anda et al, 2020

All the ACEs: A Chaotic Concept for Family Policy and Decision Making?

White et al, 2019

Relationship between childhood socioeconomic position and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs): a systematic review

David Walsh et al, September 2019

ACEs – repackaging old problems in shiny new (Emperor’s) clothes

Morag Treanor, August 2019

‘Steeling’ Young People: Resilience and Youth Policy in Scotland

Davidson and Carlin, April 2019

Why you need to remain critical of ACEs

Jessica Eaton, March 2019

Good intentions but the right approach? The case of ACEs

Andy Turner, January 2019

The ACEs campaign: cause for worry or celebration?

Gary Walsh, November 2018


Edwards et al, 2017

Critiquing ACEs: additional readings

Making Scotland an ACE Informed Nation

Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (various blogs/authors)

Questioning the use of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) questionnaires

McLennan et al, March 2020

The ACE Index: mapping childhood adversity in England

Lewer et al, December 2019

The Role of Socioeconomic Interventions in Reducing Exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences: a Systematic Review

Courtin et al, November 2019

Trauma-Informed Care in Schools: What We Know (And Still Don’t Know), And Why That Matters for Marginalized Youth In K-12

Michael Kelly, November 2019

Practitioner Review: Twenty years of research with adverse childhood experience scores – Advantages, disadvantages and applications to [clinical] practice

Rebecca Lacey and Helen Minnis, October 2019

A Critique of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Framework in Epidemiology and Public Health: Uses and Misuses

Michelle Kelly-Irving and Cyrille Delpierre, July 2019

Childhood adversity screenings are just one part of an effective policy response to childhood trauma

David Murphey, Jessica Dym Bartlett, July 2019

Themed Section: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) – Implications and Challenges

Edwards et al (Ed.), June 2019, 10 papers in total

A Critical Assessment of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study at 20 Years

Craig A. McEwen and Scout F. Gregerson, June 2019

The evidence base for routine enquiry into adverse childhood experiences: A scoping review

Ford et al, May 2019

Trauma-informed practices in early childhood education: Contributions, limitations and ethical considerations

Áurea Vericat Rocha and Claudia Ruitenberg, May 2019

Adverse Childhood Experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand: An Implicitly Racist Tool?

Eileen Joy and Liz Beddoe, May 2019

Rethinking adverse childhood experiences

Sarah Anderson, April 2019

Understanding the use, and misuse, of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in trauma-informed policing

Bateson et al, April 2019

Adverse childhood experiences or adverse childhood socioeconomic conditions?

Taylor-Robinson et al, 2018

Evidence-based early years intervention

House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, October 2018

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): educational interventions

Lauren Smith, April 2018

Capability and adversity: reframing the “causes of the causes” for mental health

Michael Smith, February 2018

ACEs Policy Position

Children’s Commissioner for Wales, 2018

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

David Finkelhor, July 2017
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