Navigation Links
Witnessing violence affects kids' health
Date:4/21/2009

School-aged children who witness violence in urban communities show symptoms of post-traumatic stress. They also suffer physiological effects with a disruption to their normal cortisol production pattern during the day, which may have long-term negative effects on their health. According to Dr. Shakira Franco Suglia, from the Harvard School of Public Health, and her team lead by Dr. Rosalind J. Wright from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, because these children are not diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, these abnormal physiological symptoms are unlikely to be picked up by their doctors. The study1 has just been published online in Springer's International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Young people living in urban communities in the US experience and witness high levels of serious and lethal violence. Such traumatic experiences can have lasting negative effects on their health. Although the mechanisms are yet to be confirmed, one plausible explanation is that the body's stress-response system is involved. Cortisol is a hormone regulated by the stress-response system. Cortisol levels are typically highest in the morning and fall gradually throughout the day. Stress-induced changes to how cortisol is produced and regulated can lead to a weaker immune system, and increased fat storage in the abdominal region linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Dr. Suglia and her team examined the impact of exposure to community violence on physiological markers of stress response in children. More specifically, they looked at the influence of post-traumatic stress symptoms (e.g. difficulty with attention or sleep, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, worries) on the daily cortisol response among 28 girls and 15 boys aged 7-13 years old. Mothers rated their child's exposure to community violence (e.g. hearing gunshots, witnessing or experiencing shoving, hitting, punching, knife attacks, shootings) and the resulting post-traumatic stress symptoms. The researchers also collected saliva samples from the children four times a day over three days to measure cortisol production over the course of the day.

They found a link between exposure to community violence and a disruption to the stress pathways in the body. In particular, the higher children scored on the stress symptoms, the greater the disruption to their cortisol production pattern and the higher their cortisol levels over the course of the day, especially in the afternoon and evening.

Dr. Shakira Franco Suglia concludes: "Our study indicates that important biological effects occur in children living in high-crime neighborhoods, although with less severe distress symptoms than those experienced by children diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. As a result, they may not come to the attention of healthcare providers and a large number of children may be impacted with broad adverse health effects."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Children's National Unveils Display to Raise Awareness of Violence Against Youth
2. Increased symptoms lead mentally disordered to become victims of violence
3. Break the Cycle Releases 2009 State-By-State Teen Dating Violence Report Card
4. New Study Shows That One-Third of Shelter Youth Have Been Institutionalized; Almost One-Half Suffered Violence in the Home
5. NJHA, McNamara and Associates Inc. Team Up to Provide Strategies for Controlling Workplace Violence
6. Leading Domestic Violence Expert Comments on New Developments in the Rihanna/Chris Brown Case
7. AFRAID TO GO HOME, A Novel About Violence Against Women, Released By Tristan/Isolde Publishing
8. Video: Avon Commits Over $1.75 Million for New Partnerships to End Violence Against Women
9. Certain Facial Injuries Point to Domestic Violence
10. PAHEF Works to Prevent Violence Against Women
11. Parents of Murdered Dating Violence Victim, Legislators, and Teachers Unite to Launch MADE - Moms and Dads for Education to Stop Teen Dating Abuse
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced ... attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 ... received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort ... the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients ... seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Plano, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... taking part in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients ... for an award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship ... The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... to let type 1 diabetes stand in the way ... Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening to conquer ... in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, has today ... world,s first internet connected hearing aid that opens up ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ) , ... , TwinLink™ - the first dual communication ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The vast majority of dialysis patients currently receive ... usually 3 times a week, with treatment times averaging ... equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen can be ... who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly dialysis patients ... for some duration of time. Residents in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: