Childhood difficulties have adverse effects on mental health in later life

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According to findings from an analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, childhood difficulties have adverse effects on mental health in later life. According to Ronald C. Kessler, PhD, of Harvard, and colleagues, adversities faced during childhood potentially explain 32.4% of all psychiatric disorders. The study, reported in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that childhood sexual abuse, neglect, substance-abusing parents and adversities related to family dysfunction had the strongest link to the onset of persistent psychiatric disorders. According to the authors, “Childhood trauma upsets the orderly psychological and biological cascades of development, leaving the affected individual at increased risk of a wide range of adverse mental health outcome… It is unrealistic to think that we could protect all children from all adversities, but can we identify factors that bolster resilience and focus our efforts on the most vulnerable subgroups.” Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses this study more.

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