Kids Exposed to Bullying & Violence May Age Faster

Kids Exposed to Bullying, Violence May Age Faster

teen witnessing violence

April 24, 2012 — The emotional and physical scars from being bullied or exposed to other types of violence as a child may go deeper than imagined.

New research shows that the genetic material, or DNA, of children who experienced violence shows the type of wear and tear that is normally associated with advancing age.

“Children who experience extreme violence at a young age have a biological age that is much older than other children,” says researcher Idan Shalev. He is a post-doctoral researcher in psychology and neuroscience at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences Policy in Durham, N.C.

Youth violence is widespread in the U.S. today. The CDC states that it’s the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 24, and that nationwide, about 20% of students in grades 9-12 were bullied in 2009.

Bullied Kids Age Faster Than Others

To see whether youth violence affects vulnerability to aging, the study authors focused on telomeres, or tiny strips of genetic material that look like tails on the ends of our chromosomes; think of a cap on an end of a shoelace. Telomere shortening is an indicator of cell aging.

The researchers analyzed DNA samples from twins at ages 5 and 10 and compared telomere length to three kinds of violence: domestic violence between the mother and her partner, being bullied frequently, and physical maltreatment by an adult. Moms were also interviewed when kids were 5, 7, and 10 to create a cumulative record of exposure to violence.

Children who were exposed to cumulative violence showed accelerated telomere shortening from age 5 to age 10. What’s more, children who were exposed to multiple forms of violence had the fastest telomere shortening rate, the study shows.

“Children who experience violence appear to be aging at a faster rate,” Shalev says.

Whether or not these changes are reversible is not clear. Shalev and colleagues plan to study the children for longer periods of time to see what happens later on in life. Their findings appear in Molecular Psychiatry.

Bullying Scars Run Deep

Bullying and other violence experienced during childhood may cause a physical erosion of DNA, says Paul Thompson, PhD. He is a professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“We now have a physical record that violence during childhood could be damaging later in life,” he says. This is a “big surprise.”

Victor Fornari, MD, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., says the new findings make perfect sense. “This article really points to a potential biological [indicator] that helps explain some of the differences in the brains of children who have experienced significant trauma and stress,” he says.

GD Star Rating
loading...

From: http://children.webmd.com/news/20120423/kids-exposed-bullying-violence-may-age-faster?src=RSS_PUBLIC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Shopping Cart

There are no items in your cart.

Our Products

  • Credit Repair Guide

    120px-Credit-cards
    There are many misconceptions about credit scores out there. There are customers who believe that they don’t have a credit score and many customers who think that their credit scores just don’t really matter. These sorts of misconceptions can hurt your chances at some jobs, at good interest rates, and even your chances of getting More Info »
    $2.00$1.00
  • Do-It-Yourself Loan Modification Software Kit

    product_img_1_128x128
    The loan modification software guides the you the homeowner to the necessary calculations and forms that the banks are looking for, they are done for you instantly. You simply enter your information and the software does the rest. The software also integrates the new Obama home rescue program designed to give you homeowners a better More Info »
    $29.99$10.00
  • Free Short Sale e-Book

    Image_shortsale_book
    WARNING: Do not list your home as a Short Sale until you have read this totally FREE report. This eBook can help you to buy another home in as little as 12 months!
    $0.00
  • Lender Forms

    lender-forms
    An assorted collection of lender forms.
    $0.00

Categories

Archives

Advertisement

Advertisement