Navigation Links
CWRU researchers trace inner-city women's health issues to childhood traumas

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have traced chronic health problems of adult inner-city women to traumas from childhood abuse and neglect.

The latest findings, reported in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect, complement prior studies of other socioeconomic groups and provide further evidence linking childhood mistreatment to serious health issues as adults, said Meeyoung O. Min, assistant professor of social work at Case Western Reserve's Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded the study.

Min's research team set out to understand specific factors that link childhood trauma to major health problems that surface as adults. The research focused on inner-city women who participated in a series of studies examining the development of children with prenatal exposure to cocaine.

After ruling out such factors as age, education and race, the researchers found that childhood trauma affects physical health in adulthood through lifetime drug dependence, smoking, more adverse life events and greater psychological distress.

The study also found that emotional struggles and life strainssuch as financial and family-related issuesand being re-victimized as adults, resulted in health problems among relatively young urban women with a history of substance use.

By identifying the specific cause in this link, Min said, interventions may be developed to help women avoid behaviors that lead to dependence on tobacco and illegal substances, additional trauma and other mental health issues.

Also, Min said, health care providers should be aware of childhood maltreatment as a potential contributor to health problems, especially among women in urban, low-income communities. Min urged providers to use the findings to design more personalized treatment.

Given their role in fostering the emotional and cognitive development of their children, women with childhood trauma potentially place their children at risk by exposing them to a range of adverse life events and poor capacity for parenting.

"The cycle can repeat itself," she said.

The study's participants

The study examined data from 279 women who gave birth at a large, urban publicly subsidized, teaching hospital in Cleveland between 1994 and 1996. These women were among 404 mothers with newborns recruited for a series of studies on the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on their children's development.

About eight in 10 were African-American; about half used cocaine during pregnancy. One-fourth were married, 98 percent were of low socioeconomic status and about half were unemployed when they gave birth. They ranged in age from 31 to 54 (with an average age of 40) when their physical health was assessed, and more than a fourth had lost child custody.

Seven in 10 reported one or more childhood maltreatment: sexual abuse (32 percent), physical abuse (45 percent), emotional abuse (37 percent), emotional neglect (30 percent), and physical neglect (45 percent).

About half also reported a chronic medical condition, mainly hypertension, pulmonary diseases and pain syndromes.

The Assessment

The women provided information about their lives and children in five-hour research sessions when their children were 4, 6, 11 and 12 years old.

Information provided over time by the women included their personal accounts of the childhood trauma; responses from health surveys; diagnostic examination of addiction to alcohol, cocaine or marijuana; the kinds of everyday life stresses experienced; and psychological distress and the toll they took on their lives.

Min said the women were quite young to have such chronic health problems. The study raises concerns for their health and quality of life as they age, she said.


Contact: Susan Griffith
Case Western Reserve University

Related medicine news :

1. NIH awards $20 million over 5 years to train next generation of global health researchers
2. Researchers develop a new cell and animal model of inflammatory breast cancer
3. Researchers uncover a viable way for colorectal cancer patients to overcome drug resistance
4. Researchers Find Gene Mutations That May Be a Key to Autism
5. Researchers find evidence of banned antibiotics in poultry products
6. NJ stroke researchers report advances in spatial neglect research at AAN Conference
7. Autism by the numbers: Yale researchers examine impact of new diagnostic criteria
8. Researchers Map Brain Regions Linked to Intelligence
9. Researchers ID Genes That May Determine Mental Illness
10. Researchers Develop Blood Test for Depression
11. University of Cincinnati researchers win $3.7M grant from US Department of Defense
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... York (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... In ... of his role as a top ophthalmologist on Long Island’s east end. During the ... teaching, innovations in surgery and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts, and how a visit ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... CASPER, Wyo. (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... is watching a family member, close friend, or animal pass away, death lives among ... tough moments. , Coming from a family of 11 children, author T Sky ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Sikka Software announced today that they are showcasing the Sikka ... make complex business decisions by providing the tools and information they need to grow ... 10 procedures customized by zip code. , The Sikka Software Ecosystem includes over ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... alliance around Novus’ TIGR® Matrix Surgical Mesh technology for soft tissue repair in ... TIGR® Matrix is a long-term resorbable surgical mesh intended to support and reinforce ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... SIMmersion’s ability to ... the medical schools of the future. To reach an audience of key visionaries ... ChangeMedEd conference in Chicago, organized by the American Medical Association. , AMA ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 iCAD, ... it will feature its latest solutions for advanced ... identification of cancer at the Radiological Society of ... Chicago from November 29 to ... product advances including iReveal®, an automated breast density ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR ) has signed a Memorandum ... Group, the largest hospital chain in India , ... the country. The MoU was signed by Dr. K. Prabakar ... , Varian,s India managing director, in ... Varian intends to deploy its Access to Care program by leveraging ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  Precision Image Analysis Inc. (PIA), a ... announce a dramatic expansion of its capabilities as ... its ISO-9001:2008 certification for its Quality Management System, ... protocols and procedures. This expansion enables PIA to ... Core Lab services include design and optimization of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: