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Partridge, S. (2019). The Origins of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Movement and Child Sexual Abuse: A Brief History. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 13(1):113-116.

(2019). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 13(1):113-116

The Origins of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Movement and Child Sexual Abuse: A Brief History

Simon Partridge

This short history explains the advent of the now rapidly growing adverse childhood experiences movement as grounded in Dr Felitti's recognition of the link between childhood sexual abuse and obesity. It draws attention to Bowlby's prior use of the term “adverse childhood experiences” (1981), and his own struggle to recognise how significant and widespread childhood sexual abuse was in defiance of orthodox Freudian/Kleinian oedipal explanations of “infantile sexuality”. It suggests that if Bowlby had lived a little longer he would not have been surprised by Felitti's discovery and would have welcomed it.

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