Countless studies have shown that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase the risk for many difficulties later in life.
One of the best-studied adult outcomes in the context of ACEs is depression. In his recent review, psychologist Richard Liu concluded ACEs make adult depression twice as likely, and more likely to recur. ACEs are also associated with a longer time to recover from depression. Liu noted that childhood adversity raises the risk for depression whether in the form of sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, or neglect.
Issues from childhood can affect not only our emotional health but our physical health, as well. A longitudinal study in the UK showed that the family environment at age 4 predicted whether a person would have persistent back pain in his or her late sixties. Similarly, lower socioeconomic status (SES) at age 4 was associated with a substantially greater risk of back problems six decades later.