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Adverse events affect children's development, physical health and biology

Most research has examined the effects of adverse childhood events on adult health, but a new study identifies short-term impact on health during childhood as well

Date:
October 21, 2016
Source:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
It's known that adverse childhood experiences carry over into adult life, but a new study is focusing on the effect of these experiences in the childhood years.
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It's known that adverse childhood experiences carry over into adult life, but a new study is focusing on the effect of these experiences in the childhood years.

For an abstract to be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2016 National Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco, researchers conducted a systematic literature review to identify some of the clinical signs that can be used to recognize children at risk after experiencing trauma. They examined 39 cohort studies to determine the effect adverse childhood experiences has on health and biological outcomes in children.

The authors found that household dysfunction affects children's weight early in childhood, and abuse and neglect affect children's weight later in childhood. Children exposed to early adversity also have increased risk for asthma, infection, somatic complaints, and sleep disruption. Maternal mental health issues are associated with elevated cortisol levels, and maltreatment is associated with a lower cortisol profile.

"The majority of research on early adversity has looked at long-term adult outcomes," said Debby Oh, PhD, research associate at the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco, California. "While this research has helped identify the problem, we must also deepen our understanding of what is happening in the brains and bodies of our children as they experience adversity."

Dr. Oh said that with appropriate intervention, children are able to recover from some of these negative health effects, making early detection a powerful tool to protect the health and well-being of children before long-term adult outcomes occur.


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Materials provided by American Academy of Pediatrics. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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American Academy of Pediatrics. "Adverse events affect children's development, physical health and biology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161021122104.htm>.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2016, October 21). Adverse events affect children's development, physical health and biology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 29, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161021122104.htm
American Academy of Pediatrics. "Adverse events affect children's development, physical health and biology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161021122104.htm (accessed May 29, 2024).

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