According to a recent study, it turns out that New Jersey is a pretty good place for kids. The study, done by the University of Minnesota and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and reported by News 12 New Jersey, the number of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) was low in New Jersey. Some of those ACEs include physical and emotional abuse, mental illness, drug addiction, domestic violence, neglect, and losing a parent due to death, divorce, or separation. Among the fifty states, New Jersey ranked #2 for the lowest number of ACEs. California was first. When measured for kids having two or more ACEs, New Jersey ranked first at 13.2%.

According to the study:

Childhood traumas can have serious lifelong repercussions. Higher ACEs scores are associated with risky health behaviors, poor physical and mental health, and even early death.

According to News 12, “Nationally, about 18% had reported two or more adverse childhood experiences, so [New Jersey] is definitely doing well in that respect,” says University of Minnesota researcher Robert Hest. “We've seen a decrease in the number of children reporting adverse childhood experiences in New Jersey which mirrors a broader national trend." The data came from 2019 and researchers are apprehensive that the number of ACEs may have increased during the pandemic. Fortunately, according to the study, children are resilient and that allows their brains to heal and change with new environments.

So the next time someone is bagging on New Jersey, remember, in the important categories, like childhood safety, we’re doing pretty well.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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