Gabbidon’s Thesis and Adverse Childhood Experiences

Thesis of Gabbidon and Unnerver’s Theory of African American Offending (ToAAO)   

Summarize and cite thesis of G&U’s ToAAIO 

Gabbidon’s thesis may well be supported by research on Adverse or traumatic Childhood Experiences (ACEs).  Certainly an implication of ACEs theory would be a continuation  into adulthood of traumatic racism related experiences in childhood.  But there is no reason to believe stress and trauma’s contribution to “allostatic load” (described following)  is limited to childhood experiences and doubtless there is research to the contrary.   If the cumulative effects of major racism-related trauma and/or the cumulative effect of daily racially motivated micro-aggression constitutes a form of trauma then ACEs theory and research can likely be cited in support of Gabbidon’s ToAAO.    


Allostasis refers to the way the brain and body respond to challenges or stresses: by reacting, adapting and then recovering. But if the stress is extreme, negative and unrelenting, the brain and body pay a price. That accumulated wear-and-tear, called allostatic load, can cause chemical imbalances, accelerate certain diseases, and even alter brain structures. Genetics, early brain development, the social and physicalenvironment, diet and other behaviors can all influence a person’s allostatic load.

Learn more at


When children are exposed to multiple traumatic events, such as ongoing physical or sexual abuse, witnessing family or community violence, or separation from family members, they may suffer complex trauma, with deep and long-lasting effects on their ability to think, learn and relate to others. Research has shown that the more ACEs a person has, the higher his or her risk for problems including addiction, chronic physical conditions, depression and anxiety, self-harming behaviors, and other psychiatric disorders.

Learn more at

Voluminous research on Racism-caused Trauma