An article in Science Daily highlights the trouble with growing up these days.
“Nearly half of all children in the United States are exposed to at least one social or family experience that can lead to traumatic stress and impact their healthy development — be it having their parents divorce, a parent die or living with someone who abuses alcohol or drugs — increasing the risk of negative long-term health consequences or of falling behind in school, suggests new research led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
For the study, Bethell and her colleagues analyzed data from the 2011-12 National Survey of Children’s Health, a survey of parents of 95,677 children under 17 from throughout the United States. The survey included questions about nine adverse childhood experiences as reported by parents: extreme economic hardship, parental divorce/separation, lived with someone with a drug or alcohol problem, witness or victim of neighborhood violence, lived with someone who was mentally ill or suicidal, witnessed domestic violence, parent served time in jail, treated or judged unfairly due to race/ethnicity and the death of a parent. The survey includes myriad data on family and neighborhood environments and parental well-being in addition to children’s schooling and medical care, and contains some data about child resilience.
The study found that more than 22 percent of children represented in the survey had two or more of these traumatic childhood experiences. Broken down by state, Utah had the lowest number of children experiencing two or more traumatic experiences (16.3 percent) while Oklahoma had the highest (32.8 percent).”
Children who experience trauma early in their lives are much more likely to have a mental illness, learning disorder, have to repeat grades in school, and more.
People want to call this the most selfish and weak generation ever, yet manage to willfully ignore that it’s also the generation facing some of the worst environments to grow up since the great depression. Often those environments are created by parents who are the same ones complaining about the ‘me’ generation.
The article definitely gives you something to think about when it comes to child development. It could have wide implications for parents and educators, possibly helping in preventing suicide or violence.