How do Childhood Experience Affect One’s Life?

Today’s society is very different from societies in the past. Have these changes affected children’s mental health? Most of us don’t remember our first two or three year of life, but our earliest experiences may stick with us for years, influencing us well into adulthood. The experiences we face in our childhood can determine our future. Trauma faced during childhood may influence the way in which we control our emotions, or even our social skills during adulthood.

According to Maanvi Singh (2014), “the type of emotional support that a child receives during the first three and a half years influences education, social life and romantic relationships even 20 or 30 years later.”. Lee Raby a psychologist and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware used data collected from 243 people who participated in the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk. All the participants were followed from birth until they turned 32. Researchers went into these kids’ home at times. Other times they brought the children and their parents to the university and observed how they interacted with each other. Also, parental behavior in the early years is just one of many influences. While tallying up the results, the researchers accounted for the participants’ social classes and the environment in which they grew up. Ultimately, they found that about 10 percent of one’s academic achievement was related with the quality of their home life at age three. Later experiences, genetic factors and even chance explain the other 90 percent, Raby says.

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The second study, also published in Child Development, 2014, found that children’s early experiences help predict whether they end up developing social anxiety disorders as teenagers, but only for those who were especially sensitive and distrustful as babies. For this study, researchers from the University of Maryland observed how 165 babies interacted with their parents. When separated from their parents, some got upset but quickly recovered when they were reunited. Other babies had a harder time trusting their parents after a brief separation, and they couldn’t calm down after being reunited.  According to Jay Belsky, a professor of human development at the University of California, “We know that our early experiences likely affect all of us to a certain extent. And we know that due to variations in psychological makeup, some people are more sensitive to environmental factors than others.” So for those people who are really sensitive need more help and care in the society, which make them having less opportunities.

Several studies have shown a correlation between sexual abuse — and other traumatic childhood experiences — and eating disorders. According to Vivian Giang, 2011 “For women, a 2007 study showed that childhood sexual abuse raised the risk of obesity by 27% compared to women who were never sexually abused. For men, a 2009 study showed that experiencing sexual abuse as a child raised the risk of obesity by 66% compared to males who never experienced sexual abuse.” If you’re suffer from obesity, it’s probably an issue you can trace back to your younger days. According to Keir McDonald, MBE 2014.6.26, found out that aadverse childhood experiences negatively affect adult life, says a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One in four young adults had maltreated during childhood and about half of adults in England have suffered an adverse experience during their childhood. Around 50,500 children in the UK are thought to be at risk of abuse right now, says the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). Almost one in five children aged 11-17 have been severely maltreated. Having childhood trauma affect behavior in adult life and increase the risk of physical and mental health problems. That’s why we must take more attention on children even adults’ metal health.

All of these studies demonstrates how childhood experiences can affect an adults development and behavior. The family quality will affect people’s academic achievement, children’s early experiences help predict whether they have or not develop social anxiety disorder in their future. Traumatic childhood experience will cause mental health problem in the future. This proves that childhood experience really does influence our life. Children are the future, so we should focus more on children’s education. Mental health is important to people because mental health affects your attitude to life. You cannot face society if you have mental health problems, so being an optimistic person is always better than being a pessimistic person.

Reference

1.https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/12/19/371679655/some-early-childhood-experiences-shape-adult-life-but-which

MAANVI SINGH December 19, 2014

Topic:Some Early Childhood Experiences Shape Adult Life, But Which Ones?

2.http://www.businessinsider.com/effects-of-childhood-activities-2011-10

Vivian Giang   2011.11.1

Topic: How 9 Things That Happened To You As A Child Affect You As An Adult

3. https://psychcentral.com/blog/adverse-childhood-experiences-affect-adult-behaviors/

Keir McDonald, MBE 2014.6.26

Topic: Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Behavior

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