Traumatic childhood linked to teen violence

Exposure to traumatic events such as physical and emotional neglect, violence, and sexual abuse in childhood could result in adolescent depression and violence, says a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health (May). The first-of-its-type Global Early Adolescent Study, a collaborative project of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA, assessed how “adverse childhood experiences” impact young children in several low-and middle-income countries, where the vast majority of the word’s 1.8 billion 10-24-year-olds live including Vietnam, China, Bolivia, Egypt, India, Kenya, the UK and US. 46 percent of young adolescents reported experiencing violence, 38 percent suffered emotional neglect and 29 percent physical neglect.

“This is the first global study to investigate how a cluster of traumatic childhood experiences known as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) work together to cause specific health issues in early adolescence with terrible, life-long consequences,” says Robert Blum, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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