In a recent article published in Health & Social Work, a journal of the National Association of Social Workers, Jennifer Jones, director of child and family systems innovation for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, breaks down the complex issue of how race and income are related to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Jones, who leads the Alliance’s Change in Mind  initiative, co-authored the article, "The Complex Interplay of Adverse Childhood Experiences, Race, and Income," with professors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Pennsylvania State University.

They reviewed extensive data from the Wisconsin Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys to identify the relative contributions of ACEs, race, and adult income to predicting three sets of adverse adult health outcomes. With data that proves associations between ACEs and poor health, the authors also found that controlling for demographic factors, ACEs strongly predict health risk behaviors, indicators of poor general health, and chronic health conditions.

In addition, they found that adult low-income status is associated with poor general health and chronic health conditions, but not health risk behaviors.

Change in Mind is a three-year initiative of the Alliance. Its primary purpose is to demonstrate the larger impactful role of the nonprofit sector as educator, convener, advocate, and true influencer of getting appropriate systems aligned to the science.

Ten U.S. members of the Alliance and five non-governmental organizations in Alberta, Canada are part of the Change in Mind cohort working to accelerate established neuroscience discoveries into their community-based work so they can determine if this science can transform policies.

Recently, the cohort produced a policy document called Using a Brain Science-Infused Lens in Policy Development: Achieving Healthier Outcomes for Children and Families to assist others in policy advocacy and formation.