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Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire

Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire

What is ACE-Q

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (ACE-Q) is a 10-item measure used to measure childhood trauma. The questionnaire assesses 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study. Five are personal: physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment.

ACE-Q Printable PDF

You can create a free account on PsyPack to access fillable PDFs, manuals and educational resources for the ACE-Q

ACE-Q Scoring and Interpretation

An ACE Score is derived by adding the number of “yes” responses (0-10).

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study has found a strong graded relationship between the breadth of exposure to abuse or household dysfunction during childhood and multiple risk factors for several of the leading causes of death in adults.

PsyPack can automatically score the ACE-Q assessment and prepare corresponding tables and graphs.

ACE-Q sample result

Sample Report of ACE-Q


Childhood Trauma, Trauma

What does ACE-Q measure

The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  • measure childhood trauma.



Type of outcome tool


Assessment modes


Age and eligibility

18 years and above

Estimated time

About 5 minutes


Since the questionnaire relies on client self-report, all responses should be verified by the clinician, and a definitive diagnosis is made on clinical grounds taking into account how well the client understood the questionnaire, as well as other relevant information from the client.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study has found a graded relationship between the number of categories of childhood exposure and each of the adult health risk behaviors and diseases that were studied (P < .001). Persons who had experienced four or more categories of childhood exposure, compared to those who had experienced none, had 4- to 12-fold increased health risks for alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, and suicide attempt; a 2- to 4-fold increase in smoking, poor self-rated health, ≥ 50 sexual intercourse partners, and sexually transmitted disease; and a 1.4- to 1.6-fold increase in physical inactivity and severe obesity. The number of categories of adverse childhood exposures showed a graded relationship to the presence of adult diseases including ischemic heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, skeletal fractures, and liver disease. The adverse childhood experiences were strongly interrelated and persons with multiple categories of childhood exposure were likely to have multiple health risk factors later in life. The findings suggest that the impact of these adverse childhood experiences on adult health status is strong and cumulative.

Ensure a trauma informed process.

Ensure ready access to a therapist should one be needed to address any issue that might arise from revisiting childhood trauma.

Due to the sensitive nature of the questions, the individual completing the ACE Questionnaire should be given a confidential space in which to complete it. They may choose to have someone with them in the room for support (ex: Peer Support Specialist, family, friend).

Attribution and References

Felitti VJ, Anda RF, Nordenberg D, Williamson DF, Spitz AM, Edwards V, Koss MP, Marks JS. Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. Am J Prev Med. 1998 May;14(4):245-58. doi: 10.1016/s0749-3797(98)00017-8. PMID: 9635069.