Childhood Abuse Leaves ‘Devastating Impact’ on Adults

by Michele G. Sullivan: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Sicker, poorer, less educated, and likely to die sooner.

Abuse in childhood can set up a row of falling dominoes that increases the risks of mental and physical health issues, legal troubles, and even early death, according to two large longitudinal studies.

A study on long-term health outcomes found that children abused before age 5 are two to three times more likely to experience negative health outcomes as young adults, particularly when the abuser is a loved and trusted person, said Jennifer Lansford, PhD, of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues.

The second study found that adults maltreated as children were up to five times more likely to die by age 33. These deaths were largely due to self-harming behaviors such as poisonings, alcohol and/or other substances, and suicide, said Leonie Segal, PhD, of the University of South Australia in Adelaide, and colleagues.

The studies were simultaneously published in Pediatrics.

“These results demand our attention,” Segal said. “We must ask, what are we doing or failing to do in supporting children exposed to child abuse or profound neglect and their distressed families? How can we do better, from early childhood, to stop this progression to an untimely death?”

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