Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Never too soon: Means to reduce violence may start in utero

Date:
September 10, 2011
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Summary:
It's hard to think of a baby being violent or destructive, but the seeds of violence may be planted before a child is born, according to new research. Attention to health factors as early as the prenatal stage could prevent violence in later life, reports researchers.

It's hard to think of a baby being violent or destructive, but the seeds of violence may be planted before a child is born, according to research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Attention to health factors as early as the prenatal stage could prevent violence in later life, reports Penn Nursing Assistant Professor Jianghong Liu, PhD, RN, in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior.

Related Articles


Recent research demonstrates a biological basis of crime, says Dr. Liu. "'Biological' does not mean only genetic factors," she explains, "but also health factors, such as nutritional deficiency and lead exposure, which influence biological processes."

Dr. Liu's study emphasizes the prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal periods, which are critical times for both a child's neuro-development and for environmental modifications.

Evidence shows that the risk factors for delinquency and crime begin early in life and that the brain undergoes the most critical development in children in the first 36 months, highlighting the importance of early intervention.

Among the early health risk factors Dr. Liu identifies are prenatal and postnatal nutrition, lead exposure, tobacco use during pregnancy, maternal depression and stress, birth complications, traumatic brain injury, and child abuse. Dr. Liu's research indicates that identifying early health risk factors is an important first step in preventing childhood aggression and teenage delinquency, which have been shown to lead to violence in adulthood, a major problem in society.

"Violence affects everyone in society and the cost of violence also has an indirect impact on our lives," says Dr. Liu. Data from the Centers for Disease Control show that within the American population ages 10 to 34, homicides rank within the top three leading causes of death. The U.S. healthcare system incurs $176 billion a year in costs from gunshot and stabbing wounds alone.

Despite decades of research into social and biological risk factors for antisocial and aggressive behavior in children, very little is known about the effects of early childhood health factors on these outcomes.

"As a society we should invest in better health care for early life -- as early as a growing fetus -- in order to minimize their health risk factors for violence," says Dr. Liu. "It is never too early to intervene in the development of violent tendencies."

In this capacity, nurses can have a central role in prenatal care, says Dr. Liu. "When a woman visits the hospital during her pregnancy, her physical symptoms are often the main focus. Very little time is spent talking extensively with expectant parents about things like avoiding toxic exposure and screening for exposure to lead and tobacco, which have been shown to lead to both birth complications and behavior problems in later life," she explains.

"Nurses can take an active role in not only caring for the victims of violence, but also in the prevention of violence," she says. "In primary care and community health settings, nurses are in an excellent position to provide education to parents about proper prenatal care and early childhood care, such as good nutrition and how to minimize exposure to environmental toxins."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. "Never too soon: Means to reduce violence may start in utero." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110910135206.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. (2011, September 10). Never too soon: Means to reduce violence may start in utero. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110910135206.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. "Never too soon: Means to reduce violence may start in utero." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110910135206.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins