Study: Some of the effects of adverse stress do not go away

9 Nov

Moi said in Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children:

Both the culture and the economy are experiencing turmoil. For some communities, the unsettled environment is a new phenomenon, for other communities, children have been stressed for generations. According to the article, Understanding Depression which was posted at the Kids Health site:

Depression is the most common mental health problem in the United States. Each year it affects 17 million people of all age groups, races, and economic backgrounds.

As many as 1 in every 33 children may have depression; in teens, that number may be as high as 1 in 8.

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/understanding_depression.html

Schools are developing strategies to deal with troubled kids.

Anna M. Phillips has written the New York Times article, Calming Schools by Focusing on Well-Being of Troubled Students which describes how one New York school is dealing with its troubled children.

Mark Ossenheimer, principal of the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx, threw out a name to add to the list of teenagers in trouble.

Several teachers and a social worker seated around a table in the school’s cramped administrative offices nodded in agreement. They had watched the student, who had a housebound parent who was seriously ill, sink into heavy depression. Another child seemed to be moving from apartment to apartment, showing up at school only sporadically. And then there was the one grappling with gender-identity issues. Soon the list had a dozen names of students who could shatter a classroom’s composure or a school windowpane in a second.

Convening the meeting was Turnaround for Children, a nonprofit organization that the young-but-faltering school in an impoverished neighborhood near the Bronx Zoo had brought in this year to try to change things.

This is the condition our organization was created to solve,” said Dr. Pamela Cantor, Turnaround’s founder and president. “A teacher who works in a community like this and thinks that these children can leave their issues at the door and come in and perform is dreaming.”

In focusing on students’ psychological and emotional well-being, in addition to academics, Turnaround occupies a middle ground between the educators and politicians who believe schools should be more like community centers, and the education-reform movement, with its no-excuses mantra. Over the past decade, the movement has argued that schools should concentrate on what high-quality, well-trained teachers can achieve in classrooms, rather than on the sociological challenges beyond their doors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/15/nyregion/calming-schools-through-a-sociological-approach-to-troubled-students.html?hpw

One strategy in helping children to succeed is to recognize and treat depression. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/

Sarah D. Sparks writes in the Education Week article, Research Traces Impacts of Childhood Adversity:

The stress of a spelling bee or a challenging science project can enhance a student’s focus and promote learning. But the stress of a dysfunctional or unstable home life can poison a child’s cognitive ability for a lifetime, according to new research.

While educators and psychologists have said for decades that the effects of poverty interfere with students’ academic achievement, new evidence from cognitive and neuroscience is showing exactly how adversity in childhood damages students’ long-term learning and health.

Those studies show that stress forms the link between childhood adversity and poor academic achievement, but that not all adversity—or all stress—is bad for students….

Compounding Risks

As part of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, more than 17,400 adults in San Diego County were assigned scores based on the number of risk factors each experienced as a child, including abuse or neglect, or growing up in homes with domestic violence, drug abuse or mental illness, or absent parents. Researchers found that people with higher ACE scores were more likely to experience underage sex or pregnancy, among other health risks.

Research from Dr. Shonkoff’s center and from other experts finds that positive stress—the kind that comes from telling a toddler he can’t have a cookie or a teenager that she’s about to take a pop quiz—causes a brief rise in heart rate and stress hormones. A jolt can focus a student’s attention and is generally considered healthy.

Similarly, a child can tolerate stress that is severe but may be relatively short-term—from the death of a loved one, for example—as long as he or she has support….

‘Toxic’ Recipe

By contrast, so-called “toxic stress” is severe, sustained, and not buffered by supportive relationships.

The same brain flexibility, called plasticity, that makes children open to learning in their early years also makes them particularly vulnerable to damage from the toxic stressors that often accompany poverty: high mobility and homelessness; hunger and food instability; parents who are in jail or absent; domestic violence; drug abuse; and other problems, according to Pat Levitt, a developmental neuroscientist at the University of Southern California and the director of the Keck School of Medicine Center on the Developing Child in Los Angeles.

The exponential brain growth of infancy and early childhood also makes children more vulnerable to chronic stress during those years than at other developmental periods, according to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, an interdisciplinary group of neuroscientists, psychologists, economists, and education researchers. In a series of easy-to-understand, peer-reviewed videos, the group explains how early cognitive connections form—and break down.

Good experiences, like nurturing parents and rich early-child-care environments, help build and reinforce neural connections in areas such as language development and self-control, while adversity weakens those connections.

Over time, the connections, good or bad, stabilize, “and you can’t go back and rewire; you have to adapt,” Dr. Shonkoff said. “If you’ve built on strong foundations, that’s good, and if you have weak foundations, the brain has to work harder, and it costs more to the brain and society.”

Compounding Risks

As part of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, more than 17,400 adults in San Diego County were assigned scores based on the number of risk factors each experienced as a child, including abuse or neglect, or growing up in homes with domestic violence, drug abuse or mental illness, or absent parents. Researchers found that people with higher ACE scores were more likely to experience underage sex or pregnancy, among other health risks.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/11/07/11poverty_ep.h32.html?tkn=QLYF5qldyT3U0BI0xqtD5885mihZIxwbX4qZ&cmp=clp-edweek

Here is information about the Adverse Child Experiences Study:

What is The ACE Study?

The ACE Study is ongoing collaborative research between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA, and Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, CA.

The Co-principal Investigators of The Study are Robert F. Anda, MD, MS, with the CDC; and Vincent J. Felitti, MD, with Kaiser Permanente.

Over 17,000 Kaiser patients participating in routine health screening volunteered to participate in The Study.  Data resulting from their participation continues to be analyzed; it reveals staggering proof of the health, social, and economic risks that result from childhood trauma.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides access to the peer-reviewed publications resulting from The ACE Study.                   http://acestudy.org/

See, School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children  https://drwilda.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/

Our goal as a society should be:

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Related:

Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/

School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/

Battling teen addiction: ‘Recovery high schools’                                              https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/battling-teen-addiction-recovery-high-schools/

Resources:

  1. About.Com’s Depression In Young Children
  2. Psych Central’s Depression In Young Children
  3. Psychiatric News’ Study Helps Pinpoint Children With Depression
  4. Family Doctor’s What Is Depression?
  5. WebMD’s Depression In Children
  6. Healthline’s Is Your Child Depressed?
  7. Medicine.Net’s Depression In Children

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART © http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                               http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                https://drwilda.com/

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