Tag Archives: early life learning

Drexel University study: Trauma from parents’ youth linked to poorer health, asthma in their own children

10 Jun

Moi reported about the effect stress has on genes in Penn State study: Stress alters children’s genomes https://drwilda.com/2014/04/08/penn-state-study-stress-alters-childrens-genomes/ A Tulane Medical School study finds that family violence or trauma alters a child’s genomes.

Science Daily reported in the article, Family violence leaves genetic imprint on children:

A new Tulane University School of Medicine study finds that the more fractured families are by domestic violence or trauma, the more likely that children will bear the scars down to their DNA.
Researchers discovered that children in homes affected by domestic violence, suicide or the incarceration of a family member have significantly shorter telomeres, which is a cellular marker of aging, than those in stable households. The findings are published online in the latest issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Telomeres are the caps at the end of chromosomes that keep them from shrinking when cells replicate. Shorter telomeres are linked to higher risks for heart disease, obesity, cognitive decline, diabetes, mental illness and poor health outcomes in adulthood. Researchers took genetic samples from 80 children ages 5 to 15 in New Orleans and interviewed parents about their home environments and exposures to adverse life events….
The study found that gender moderated the impact of family instability. Traumatic family events were more detrimental to young girls as they were more likely to have shortened telomeres. There was also a surprising protective effect for boys: mothers who had achieved a higher level of education had a positive association with telomere length, but only in boys under 10.
Ultimately, the study suggests that the home environment is an important intervention target to reduce the biological impacts of adversity in the lives of young children, Drury said. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617102505.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29&utm_content=FaceBook

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/stress/

Science Daily reported in Trauma from parents’ youth linked to poorer health, asthma in their own children:

Trauma experienced by a parent during childhood has long-reaching consequences — maybe even to the point of negatively impacting their own children’s health, a new Drexel University study found.
“It is well known that adverse childhood experiences can lead to serious and wide-ranging effects on the health of the people who go through them,” said Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD, the study’s lead researcher and an assistant professor in Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health. “A lot of these health problems — such as substance abuse, depression or chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease — can affect how parents care for their kids and the environments where they grow up.”
“Adverse childhood experiences” are described as serious traumas or stress a person experiences during their formative years. This might include something like abuse or exposure to violence and/or drugs. The study, published in Pediatrics, looked into surveys taken by 350 Philadelphia parents who answered questions about their own “ACEs.”
It found that for every type of “ACE” a parent went through, their children had 19 percent higher odds of poorer health and 17 percent higher odds of having asthma.
“If we only look at the within-individual effects of ACEs, we may be underestimating their lasting impact on health across multiple generations,” Lê-Scherban said of the study team’s motivations. “Looking intergenerationally gives us a more comprehensive picture of the long-term processes that might affect children’s health.”
“By the same token, acting to prevent ACEs and helping those who have experienced them can potentially have benefits extending to future generations,” Lê-Scherban added.
Among the parents who were surveyed:
— Nearly 42 percent said they’d witnessed violence (seeing someone shot, stabbed or beaten) as a child
— 38 percent said they lived with a problem drinker or someone who used illicit drugs during their youth
— Roughly 37 percent said that they had been physically abused as children
While those were the most common ACEs, there were many others that received strong responses, including experiencing racial discrimination and sexual abuse.
Overall, 85 percent of parents experienced at least one ACE. The more ACEs a parent had suffered as a child, the more likely their own children were to have poorer health status.
One of the other areas that Lê-Scherban and her fellow researchers focused on was behavior in the survey respondents’ children that could have an impact on health. They found that each ACE a parent had experienced was tied to an additional 16 percent higher odds that their children would have excessive TV-watching habits. While not a direct health outcome, it sets up a child for potentially poorer health habits down the line.
And though ACEs are more prevalent in populations low on the socioeconomic scale, that doesn’t explain everything, Lê-Scherban said…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180604172745.htm

Citation:

Trauma from parents’ youth linked to poorer health, asthma in their own children
Date: June 4, 2018
Source: Drexel University
Summary:
A new study found that for each type of adverse childhood experience a parent went through, their children had 19 percent higher odds of poorer health.
Journal Reference:
1. Félice Lê-Scherban, Xi Wang, Kathryn H. Boyle-Steed, Lee M. Pachter. Intergenerational Associations of Parent Adverse Childhood Experiences and Child Health Outcomes. Pediatrics, 2018; 141 (6): e20174274 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2017-4274

Here is the press release from Drexel University:

Trauma from Parents’ Youth Linked to Poorer Health, Asthma in Their Own Children
By: Frank Otto
June 4, 2018

Trauma experienced by a parent during childhood has long-reaching consequences — maybe even to the point of negatively impacting their own children’s health, a new Drexel University study found.
“It is well known that adverse childhood experiences can lead to serious and wide-ranging effects on the health of the people who go through them,” said Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD, the study’s lead researcher and an assistant professor in Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health. “A lot of these health problems — such as substance abuse, depression or chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease — can affect how parents care for their kids and the environments where they grow up.”
“Adverse childhood experiences” are described as serious traumas or stress a person experiences during their formative years. This might include something like abuse or exposure to violence and/or drugs. The study, published in Pediatrics, looked into surveys taken by 350 Philadelphia parents who answered questions about their own “ACEs.”
It found that for every type of “ACE” a parent went through, their children had 19 percent higher odds of poorer health and 17 percent higher odds of having asthma.
“If we only look at the within-individual effects of ACEs, we may be underestimating their lasting impact on health across multiple generations,” said Lê-Scherban — who also serves as a researcher in her school’s Urban Health Collaborative — about the study team’s motivations. “Looking intergenerationally gives us a more comprehensive picture of the long-term processes that might affect children’s health.”
“By the same token, acting to prevent ACEs and helping those who have experienced them can potentially have benefits extending to future generations,” Lê-Scherban added.
Among the parents who were surveyed:
• Nearly 42 percent said they’d witnessed violence (seeing someone shot, stabbed or beaten) as a child
• 38 percent said they lived with a problem drinker or someone who used illicit drugs during their youth
• Roughly 37 percent said that they had been physically abused as children
While those were the most common ACEs, there were many others that received strong responses, including experiencing racial discrimination and sexual abuse.
Overall, 85 percent of parents experienced at least one ACE. The more ACEs a parent had suffered as a child, the more likely their own children were to have poorer health status.
One of the other areas that Lê-Scherban and her fellow researchers focused on was behavior in the survey respondents’ children that could have an impact on health. They found that each ACE a parent had experienced was tied to an additional 16 percent higher odds that their children would have excessive TV-watching habits. While not a direct health outcome, it sets up a child for potentially poorer health habits down the line.
And though ACEs are more prevalent in populations low on the socioeconomic scale, that doesn’t explain everything, Lê-Scherban said.
“It’s important to remember that ACEs, and their effects, occur across the socioeconomic spectrum,” Lê-Scherban commented.
While the links can’t be definitively established as causal yet, they suggest that it’s important to keep studying the multigenerational effects that trauma has on health, according to Lê-Scherban.
“We need to know more about the specific pathways through which parental ACEs might harm child health so we can minimize these harms,” she said. “On the flip side, it’s important to learn more about the factors that promote resilience to help parents and their children thrive despite past trauma.”
Those interested in reading the full study, “Intergenerational Associations of Parent Adverse Childhood Experiences and Child Health Outcomes,” can access it here.
Media Contact:
Frank Otto
fmo26@drexel.edu
215.571.4244

Here is information about the Adverse Child Experiences Study. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides access to the peer-reviewed publications resulting from The ACE Study. http://acestudy.org/
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/09/study-some-of-the-effects-of-adverse-stress-do-not-go-away/

Science Daily reported in Infantile memory study points to critical periods in early-life learning for brain development:

A new study on infantile memory formation in rats points to the importance of critical periods in early-life learning on functional development of the brain. The research, conducted by scientists at New York University’s Center for Neural Science, reveals the significance of learning experiences over the first two to four years of human life; this is when memories are believed to be quickly forgotten — a phenomenon known as infantile amnesia.
“What our findings tell us is that children’s brains need to get enough and healthy activation even before they enter pre-school,” explains Cristina Alberini, a professor in NYU’s Center for Neural Science, who led the study. “Without this, the neurological system runs the risk of not properly developing learning and memory functions…”
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160718111939.htm

Citation:

Infantile memory study points to critical periods in early-life learning for brain development
Date: July 18, 2016
Source: New York University
Summary:
A new study on infantile memory formation in rats points to the importance of critical periods in early-life learning on functional development of the brain. The research reveals the significance of learning experiences over the first two to four years of human life.
Journal Reference:
1. Alessio Travaglia, Reto Bisaz, Eric S Sweet, Robert D Blitzer, Cristina M Alberini. Infantile amnesia reflects a developmental critical period for hippocampal learning. Nature Neuroscience, 2016; DOI: 10.1038/nn.4348

Our goal as a society should be:
A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Resources:

The Effects of Stress on Your Body
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/effects-of-stress-on-your-body

The Physical Effects of Long-Term Stress
http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/the-physical-effects-of-long-term-stress/all/1/

Chronic Stress: The Body Connection
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=53737

Understanding Stress Symptoms, Signs, Causes, and Effects
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm

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