Back to Evidence & Resource Library

Addressing adverse childhood experiences in primary care: Challenges and considerations

H. Dubowitz, D. Finkelhor, A. Zolotor, J. Kleven, N. Davis

This article draws attention to the overlapping literature on social determinants of health and adverse childhood experiences, and the growing clinical interest in addressing them to promote children's and parent's health and well-being. We address important considerations and suggest solutions for leaders and practitioners in primary care to address social determinants of health/adverse childhood experiences. Priorities include: begin with a few prevalent conditions for which there are helpful resources; focus on conditions that are current or recent and where parents may be more apt to engage in services; focus initially on families with children aged<6 given the frequency of well-child visits and the especially strong relationships between primary care professionals and parents during this period; ensure training of primary care professionals and staff to help them play this role competently and comfortably; and have good referral processes to facilitate additional evaluation or help.

Dubowitz H, Finkelhor D, Zolotor A, Kleven J, Davis N. Addressing adverse childhood experiences in primary care: Challenges and considerations. Pediatrics. Published online March 10, 2022:e2021052641. doi:10.1542/peds.2021-052641

View the Resource
Publication year
Resource type
Peer Reviewed Research
Children and Youth
Health Care Professionals
Social Determinant of Health
Not Specified
Study design