Adverse childhood experiences (ACE)

Expériences de vie adverses à l'enfance (ACE)

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur before a child reaches the age of 18. Such experiences can interfere with a person’s health, opportunities and stability throughout his or her lifetime, and can even affect future generations. 

Adverse effects

Effets adverses

An unwanted or indesirable consequence that happens after an action or conversation. For exemple, sleeping disturbances can be an adverse effect of sexual abuse.

Affect regulation

Régulation des émotions / régulation émotionnelle

Affect regulation is the ability to act on one's own emotions. It is a complex psychological process that covers the ability to trigger, inhibit, maintain or modulate one's own affects and emotions.

Altered self-capacities

Capacités du soi altérées

It refers to an individual’s psychological functioning incapacity in the areas of forming and maintaining meaningful relationships, creating a stable sense of personal identity and self-awareness, and the ability to modulate and tolerate negative affect. 

Ambivalent attachment

Attachement ambivalent

A form of insecure attachment in which infants show a combination of positive and negative responses toward a parent. After separation, for example, infants may simultaneously seek and resist close contact with the returning parent. Also called resistant attachment. 



Anorexia is characterized by the search for thinness, the morbid fear of eating and the fear of gaining weight or becoming obese. It is characterized by a stubborn and sometimes dangerous food restriction.

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)

Trouble de la personnalité antisociale (TPAS)

Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a persistent pattern of disregard for consequences and the rights of others. These individuals commit illegal, deceptive, reckless acts and exploit others for personal gain or pleasure without feeling any remorse.

Attachment style

Style d'attachement

Attachment styles are based on children's reactions to interactions with their parents in terms of the degree of availability, consistency, protection, and reassurance offered. These are based on abandonment anxiety and level of intimacy avoidance and include four styles: secure, avoidant-fearful, preoccupied, and detached.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder / attention deficit disorder (ADHD/ADD)

Trouble déficitaire de l'attention avec ou sans hyperactivité (TDA/H)

It is a disorder affecting concentration, attention span, impulsivity and hyperactivity where individuals are inattentive, easily distracted, impulsive or very active.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Trouble du spectre de l'autisme (TSA)

A complex developmental condition involving persistent challenges with social communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behavior. While autism is considered a lifelong disorder, the degree of impairment in functioning because of these challenges varies between individuals with autism.

Avoidant attachment

Attachement évitant

A form of insecure attachment in which infants do not seek proximity to their parent after separation. Instead, the infant does not appear distressed by the separation and avoids the returning parent.

Behavior problems (BP)

Problèmes de comportement (PC)

Behavior problems are distinguished from normal behaviors by the fact that they are more frequent and that they cause problems in several aspects of the young person's life. There are two types: oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder.

Borderline personnality disorder (BPD)

Trouble de personnalité limite (TPL)

This disorder is a mental health problem with significant repercussions. People who have it have difficulties containing their emotions or controlling their impulses. They are extremely sensitive to what is going on around them and can react with intense emotions to small changes in their environment.



Bulimia is characterized by recurrent episodes of uncontrollable binge eating followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviors (such as self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse), fasting, or exercise; episodes occur, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.



Aggressive and unwanted behaviors, especially among school-aged children, that involve a power imbalance. The behaviors are repeated or have the potential to be repeated over time.

Childhood interpersonal traumas (CIT)

Traumas interpersonnels à l'enfance (TIE)

This type of trauma refers to psychological, physical or sexual violence, psychological and physical neglect, bullying by peers and exposure to psychological and physical violence between parental figures. These traumas occur in childhood, are usually perpetrated by parental figures and impede survivors’ well-being.

Child maltreatment

Maltraitance à l'enfance

The physical or psychological maltreatment of a child by an adult (biological or adoptive parents, step-parents, guardians, other adults). This includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment, exposure to domestic violence, and neglect.

Child sexual exploitation

Exploitation sexuelle des enfants

Any type of sexual activity with children and youth in exchange for money, drugs, food, shelter or any other considerations.

Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD)

Trouble de stress post-traumatique complexe (TSPT-C)

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder is specific to serious and repetitive traumas that occur during childhood, most often in the form of abuse and which have important consequences in adulthood, particularly in terms of emotional regulation.

Complex trauma (CT)

Trauma complexe (TC)

This type of trauma is related to chronic and repeated interpersonal traumas and the complex and lasting sequelae associated with them, particularly in the relational, affective, behavioral and identity spheres.

Conduct disorder (CD)

Trouble de conduite (TC)

Conduct disorder is characterized by recurrent or persistent behavior in which the child flouts the rights of others or the main rules or social norms related to his age.

Couple communication patterns

Dynamique communicationnelle dyadique

The way individuals interact with each other. These patterns are predictable and stable in time. 

Couples therapy

Thérapie de couple

Couples therapy attempts to improve romantic relationships and resolve interpersonal conflicts.

Crime Victims Assistance Centre - Quebec (CAVAC)

Centre d'aide aux victimes d'actes criminels - Québec (CAVAC)

Crime Victims Assistance Centres, or CAVACs, offer front-line services to any crime victim or witness. Help from CAVACs is available whether the perpetrator of the crime has been identified, apprehended, prosecuted or convicted.

Cumulative childhood trauma (CCT)

Trauma cumulatif à l'enfance

Cumulative trauma refers to the accumulation of interpersonal trauma, with greater repercussions, such as more severe and complex symptoms.



Cybervictimization is defined as deliberate and repeated harm inflicted through computers, cell phones and other electronic devices that is intended to threaten, harass, embarrass or socially exclude another person using online technology

Developmental delay

Retard développemental

Developmental delays are characterized by several developmental problems, which typically include below average intellectual functioning and late achievement of key physical milestones (such as sitting or walking). They are often associated with a lack of social skills and difficulty communicating.

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM)

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM)

The DSM is a publication by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for the classification of mental disorders using a common language and standard criteria.

Director of youth protection - Quebec (DYP)

Direction de la protection de la jeunesse - Québec (DPJ)

The DYP is responsible for enforcing the Youth Protection Act (YPA) in his region. The YPA applies to children and teenagers under 18 whose security or development is or may be considered to be in danger.



The act of making something (e.g. abuse) known.

Disengaged parenting

Parentalité désengagée

Disengaged parenting is characterized by a lack of responsiveness to a child's needs. Uninvolved parents make few to no demands of their children and they are often indifferent, dismissive, or even completely neglectful.

Disorganized attachment

Attachement désorganisé

A form of insecure attachment in which infants show no coherent or consistent behavior during separation from and reunion with their parents. Also called disoriented attachment.

Dissociative identity disorder

Trouble dissociatif de la personnalité

Dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct identities or "personality states" that alternately take control of the individual's behavior, accompanied by an inability to evoke personal memories.

Domestic violence (DV)

Violence familiale (VF)

Domestic Violence is violence that takes place within a household and can be between any two people within that household. Domestic Violence can occur between a parent and child, or siblings.

Dropping out (school dropout)

Décrochage scolaire

Dropping out means leaving high school, college, university for practical reasons, necessities, inability, or disillusionment with the system.

Eating disorders

Troubles alimentaires

Disorders characterized primarily by a pathological disturbance of attitudes and behaviors related to food, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

Emerging adults

Adultes émergents (AÉ)

Emerging adults are no longer teenagers, but they are not quite adults either since they are still dependent on their parents, whether emotionally or financially. They are usually between 16 and 25 years old.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

Syndrome d'alcoolisation fœtal (SAF)

A group of conditions that can occur in a person who was exposed to alcohol before birth. These effects can include physical, psychological, behavioural, and even learning problems.

First Nations

Premières Nations

First Nations is a term used to describe Indigenous peoples in Canada who are not Métis or Inuit. First Nations people are original inhabitants of the land now known as Canada.

Former youth in care

Jeunes pris en charge (par l'État)

This term refers to individuals who have had the experience of being removed from their home and placed "in care" under the child protection system. This may have been a foster family, group home, or other placement.

Foster family (FF)

Famille d'accueil (FA)

Families that welcome children and youth who have been placed in care and who cannot live with their families. Foster parents can be relatives or unrelated to the child.



Hypervigilance is a state where attention and sensitivity to the environment are heightened in order to detect potential, though usually unreal danger. Hypervigilance is often linked to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Identity disturbance

Perturbations identitaires

Identity disturbance is a term used to describe incoherence, or inconsistency, in a person's sense of identity. This could mean that a person's goals, beliefs, values and actions are constantly changing. It could also be that the person takes on personality traits of people around them, as they struggle to have and maintain their own identity.

Inapropriate sexual behaviour

Comportements sexuels problématiques (CSP)

Refers to a child who displays inappropriate sexual behaviour, including age-inappropriate play with toys, self or others; displaying explicit sexual acts; age-inappropriate sexually explicit drawing and/or descriptions; sophisticated or unusual sexual knowledge; prostitution or seductive behaviour.

Indigenous youth

Jeunes autochtones

These are youth from parents who reported identifying with Canada's Indigenious individuals, including people who identify as First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

Integrated health and social services centres - Quebec (CISSS)

Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux - Québec (CISSS)

They ensure accessibility, continuity and quality of services for people in their territory. They are reference points where people can go in case of health or psychosocial problems. There, they can receive appropriate services or be directed to another resource of the territorial services network.

Integrated university health and social services centre - Quebec (CIUSSS)

Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux - Québec (CIUSSS)

They ensure accessibility, continuity and quality of services for people in their territory. They are reference points where people can go in case of health or psychosocial problems. There, they can receive appropriate services or be directed to another resource of the territorial services network.

Intellectual disability (ID)

Déficience intellectuelle (DI)

This disorder is characterized by significant disabilities or limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior before the age of 18. These limitations refer to conceptual, social and practical skills.

Intergenerationnal trauma

Trauma intergénérationnel

Mass psychological, physical, sexual and cultural trauma suffered by one generation and transmitted to subsequent generations thus affecting their health and well-being.

Intimate partner violence (IPV)

Violence conjugale (VC)

Intimate partner violence includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, harassment, manipulation and coercion by a current or former partner.

Local community service centre - Quebec (CLSC)

Centre local de services communautaires - Québec (CLSC)

CLSCs offer first-line health and social services at their service points, but also at school, at work and at home, such as preventive or curative services, rehabilitation or reintegration services.

Marital adjustment

Ajustement conjugal

Marital adjustment is defined as the integration of different personality traits of two individuals in a relationship in order to complement each other to achieve happiness and common goals.

Mental health

Santé mentale

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.


Présence attentive

Mindfulness refers to a state of consciousness that emerges when an individual is available and attentive to the present moment, in a way that is imbued with acceptance and non-judgment.



Refers to situations in which a child’s caregiver fails to provide or is unable to provide adequate clothing, food or shelter, deliberately or otherwise. The term can also apply to the abandonment of a child or the omission of basic care such as medical or dental care.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Trouble obsessionnel compulsif (TOC)

This disorder is characterized by an overwhelming sense of uncontrolled, repetitive thoughts that run through the mind of individuals despite their desire or will. Individuals are unable to stop having these thoughts, even though they know they are meaningless. These thoughts become obsessions.

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)

Trouble oppositionnel avec provocation (TOP)

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a recurrent or persistent pattern of negative, defiant, or even hostile behaviors toward authority figures.

Panic attacks

Attaques de panique

Panic attacks are characterized by the sudden onset of intense fear or discomfort accompanied by certain physical and emotional symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort, feeling choked, dizziness, unsteadiness or fainting.

Peer victimization

Victimisation par les pairs

Peer victimization is defined as aggressive behaviors perpetrated repeatedly by one or more young people against another young person, in a context where the aggressor is in a position of superiority vis-à-vis of the victim, or in a context of power imbalance.


Auteur / contrevenant

An individual who commits harmful, illegal or immoral acts such as sexual abuse.

Physical abuse

Abus physique

Generally defined as "any nonaccidental physical injury to the child" and can include striking, kicking, burning, or biting the child, or any action that results in a physical impairment of the child.

Physical neglect

Négligence physique

Failure to provide for a child's basic survival needs, such as nutrition, clothing, shelter, hygiene, and medical care. Physical neglect may also involve inadequate supervision of a child and other forms of reckless disregard of the child's safety and welfare.



Polyvictimization refers to the experience of multiple types of victimization such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, bullying, and exposure to family violence versus multiple episodes of the same kind of victimization.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Trouble de stress post-traumatique (TSPT)

Post-traumatic stress disorder results from exposure to death or threat of death, serious injury, or sexual violence to self or others and causing significant distress and pervasive symptoms over a long period of time of time.

Protective factors

Facteurs de protection

Strengths and resources that appear to mediate or serve as a "buffer" against risk factors that contribute to vulnerability to maltreatment or against the negative effects of maltreatment experiences.

Psychological abuse

Abus psychologique

A pattern of caregiver behaviors that negatively affect the child's cognitive, social, emotional, and/or physical development. These include acts of omission (ignoring need for social interactions) or commission (spurning, terrorizing). They may be verbal or nonverbal, active or passive, and with or without intent to harm. 

Rehabilitation centre (RC)

Centre de réadaptation (CR)

Rehabilitation centers aim to promote young people's recovery and/or further development while establishing a viable balance with their reintegration environment (family or other).



The process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.

Risk factors

Facteurs de risque

Characteristics at the biological, psychological, family, community, or cultural level that precede and are associated with a higher likelihood of negative outcomes. 

Romantic relationship

Relations amoureuses

Defined as mutual, ongoing and voluntary interactions between two partners that is characterized by specific expressions of affection and intimacy.

Secure attachment

Attachement sécurisant

Positive parent–child relationship, in which the child displays confidence when the parent is present, shows mild distress when the parent leaves, and quickly reestablishes contact when the parent returns. Children with secure attachment feel protected by their caregivers, and they know that they can depend on them to return. 



Self-harm is the act of injuring oneself without suicidal intent.

Self-report questionnaire

Questionnaire auto-rapporté

A self-report questionnaire is a type of survey, questionnaire, or poll in which respondents read the question and select a response by themselves, without interference.

Sex therapy

Thérapie en sexologie

It is a form of counseling designed to help individuals and couples resolve individual, relationship and sexual difficulties, such as performance anxiety or infidelity.

Sexual abuse (SA)

Abus sexuel (AS)

Inappropriate adolescent or adult sexual behavior with a child. It includes fondling a child’s genitals, making the child fondle the adult’s genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism, sexual exploitation, or exposure to pornography. If a stranger commits these acts, it would be considered sexual assault and handled solely by the police and criminal courts

Sexual anxiety

Anxiété sexuelle

Sexual anxiety is defined as the tendency to experience tension, discomfort, and anxiety about the sexual aspects of one’s life.

Sexual coercition

Coercition sexuelle

Sexual coercion corresponds to behaviors or strategies such as verbal pressure, utilization of substances or force, exercised in order to force the sexual will of another person, without their free and informed consent. .

Sexual conpulsivity

Compulsion sexuelle

Sexual compulsion is related to excessive preoccupation with sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors that are difficult to control. These can cause distress or negatively affect health, work, relationships or other aspects of life for some individuals.

Sexual orientation

Orientation sexuelle

Sexual orientation is a part of individual identity that includes a person's sexual and emotional attraction to another person.

Sexual self-efficacy

Auto-efficacité sexuelle

Sexual self-efficacy is defined by an individual's belief in their ability to engage in or refuse sexual activities and to control the context of these activities.

Sexual transmitted infections (STI)

Infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang (ITSS)

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), can affect the general health, well-being and reproductive capacity of those infected. Participation in sexual risk behaviours can increase your chances of acquiring an STI. There are many types of STIs, including: Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, Gonorrhoea, HIV/AIDS, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV),and Syphilis.

Shaken baby syndrome (SBS)

Syndrome du bébé secoué (SBS)

This is a condition, including head injuries and retinal hemorrhages, that may be seen in infants who have been violently shaken.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Syndrome de mort subite du nourrisson (SMSN)

The unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old.

Suicidal ideation

Idées / idéations suicidaires

Having thoughts, ideas, or ruminations about the possibility of ending one's own life.

Therapeutic alliance

Alliance thérapeutique

Therapeutic alliance refers to the mutual collaboration based on trust that is established between the patient and the therapist, which is essential for the achievement of the objectives. This notion of alliance is central and without it, the risk of failure is greater.


Traumatismes / traumas

Any disturbing experience that results in significant fear, helplessness, dissociation, confusion, or other disruptive feelings intense enough to have a long-lasting negative effect on a person’s attitudes, behavior, and other aspects of functioning. Traumatic events often challenge an individual’s view of the world as a just, safe, and predictable place. 

Trauma-informed care (TIC)

Soins sensibles aux traumas

Trauma-informed care consider the traumas experienced and avoid creating new ones in survivors through practices based on awareness, transparency, support, collaboration, safety, choice, collaboration, autonomy and respect in all spheres of care.

Traumatic stress

Stress traumatique

Traumatic stress is a normal reaction to an abnormal event, often related to post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Undergraduate students

Étudiants de premier cycle

In the UK, Europe and the United States an undergraduate student is a student who is working towards a bachelors degree, sometimes known as an undergraduate degree. They are different from postgraduate students who are studying their subject at a higher level than the undergraduate level, having (usually) already been awarded a bachelors degree in a relevant subject. 



The act or process of singling someone out for cruel or unfair treatment, typically through physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.



Youth is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence.

Youth centre (YC)

Centre jeunesse (CJ)

A youth center is a set of specialized support services for young people and families who are experiencing significant difficulties, endangering the safety and development of children and adolescents.

Youth Protection Act (YPA)

Loi sur la protection de la jeunesse (LPA)

The purpose of this Act is to protect children whose security or development is or may be considered to be in danger. The Act also aims to put an end to and prevent the recurrence of situations in which the security or the development of a child is in danger.

Youth welfare services

Services de protection de la jeunesse

Youth welfare services aim to assure that the law in respected regarding the well-being, safety and development of children and adolescents and to intervene when these rights are not respected.

Scroll top