During the past two decades a substantial amount of evidence on the association of chronic adversities and single events of adverse exposures and poor mental health functioning has emerged (Bergen et al., 2003; Finkelhor & Hashima, 2001; Garmezy & Masten, 1994; Howard et al., 2002; Johnson, Kotch, Catellier, Winsor, Dufort, Hunter, Amaya-Jackson, 2002; Jong et al., 2000; Kendall-Tackett et al., 1993; McMahon et al., 2003; Spat Widom, 1999; Stevens et al., 2003; Turner & Lloyd, 1999; Turner et al., 2006).
The co-occurrence of multiple risk factors in the form of childhood abuse and household dysfunction has been labeled more recently as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) (Felitti et al., 1998). Negative cumulative influences of multiple categories of exposures on both physical and mental well being have been found to be deleterious in numerous studies (Dong et al., 2004). Dong and colleagues found that adults reporting single adverse experiences were likely to have been exposed to a multitude of adverse exposures in childhood, suggesting the importance of understanding co-occurring traumas and the cumulative impact of stressful experiences.
In summary, a host of factors have been implicated in research studies investigating predisposing risk factors for the onset of depression, with varying levels of empirical support. Research that examines cumulative adverse exposures contributing to poor mental health outcomes utilizes broad categories of adverse experiences across dimensions that include poverty, perceived deprivation, family disorganization or household dysfunction, victimization, and exposures to community violence (Cohen, 2002; Dong et al., 2005; Felitti, 1998; Gilman et al., 2003; Taylor & Turner, 2002).
Dr. Best conducts trauma sensitive assessments and treatments that seek to bring rapid resolution to traumatic exposures in order to allieviate the continued suffering and symptoms often experienced by those who have been exposed to either intentional trauma of abuse or victimization, or unintentional trauma as in car crashes, natural disasters or the loss of a loved one. Please contact us today if you or a loved one is continuing to suffer with traumatic exposures.