No School Alone: How community risks and assets contribute to school and youth success (March, 2015)
Christopher Blodgett, Ph.D. Washington State University
Report prepared for the Washington State Office of Financial Management in response to the Legislature’s directions in Substitute House Bill 2739
In this report, we test if the levels of the challenges resulting from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in a community’s adult population contribute to current conditions of disruption in children that make ACEs a multigenerational problem. While the effects of poverty on school performance guide long-term and significant investment policies, ACEs is a comparatively new idea and until very recently has not been tested as a policy planning tool. Several hundred peer-reviewed research studies consistently support the role of ACEs as arguably the most powerful single predictor of health and well-being in adulthood. However, equivalent results in childhood emerged only in the past few years. Exposure to ACEs begins very early in life, resulting in risks to the developing brain. This additional exposure to stress leads to the emergence of physical and social mechanisms of No School Alone 4 coping that can interfere with development during childhood and compromise life success and health in adulthood.