Let’s Face Adverse Childhood Experiences (FACE) It: Parent Education and Empowerment
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are a major public health concern in the United States as childhood trauma can lead to long-term health and mental health consequences. They disproportionally affect low-income children of diverse backgrounds; however, parent education can potentially reduce ACEs among low-income young children. This study aims to examine whether parents’ perceptions toward ACEs changed after exposure to ACEsrelated infographic education. In this study, we identified three main themes across the focus group interviews that highlight the importance of ACEs-related educational intervention. Following the ACEs-related education, our study found that the vast majority of participants’ attitudes toward and perceptions of ACEs changed from normalizing ACEs to acknowledging and accepting the consequences of ACEs; the participants also reported feeling empowered to prevent the cycle of ACEs. More importantly, the participants recognized that ACEs could cause long-term traumatic damage to the exposed child’s health outcomes, and they felt empowered to seek resources for ACEs-related interventions. These findings shed positive light on the significance of educating parents on ACEs, which should be considered for policy implications and program interventions to prevent child maltreatment in the United States. We propose an intervention model using the health literacy and educational empowerment frameworks along with other policy recommendations that highlight the importance of culturally and linguistically appropriate services for diverse families living in low-income housing communities.