Child Abuse DV/IPV Sexual Assault

Full-Text Friday (on Sunday): Childhood Misfortune as a Threat to Successful Aging

You know your brain is a tad overloaded when the mere act of hitting the “publish” button is too much. So this post sat languishing in draft purgatory until I noticed this bit of sadness and quickly rectified. Apologies for being absent from Full-Text Fridays for awhile. The truth is that it’s fairly time-consuming and everyone knows, this is my nerdy hobby. So sometimes things don’t happen.

I’m including this article for your perusal because I never stop talking to people about the impact of violence on health. This full-text piece examines adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their impact on aging, the relevance of which I hope is immediately apparent. Details after the jump:

Citation: Schafer, M. & Ferraro, K. (2012). Childhood misfortune as a threat to successful aging: Avoiding disease. The Gerontologist, 52(1), 111-20.

Why this article? It’s important because, once again, it’s research that underscores the lifelong issues ACEs create. And this particular study concentrates solely on physical health conditions, that as we know, are often less intuitively understood in connection to ACEs than mental health issues. Moreover, funders who support our programs need to understand that forensic healthcare impacts much more than just criminal justice outcomes, so clinicians need to be fluent in the short- and long-term impacts of trauma, violence, and abuse.

Key quote: Clearly, early-life course experiences set the tone for future life trajectories…and should not be glossed over in search of proximal adult risk factors only. The effect of childhood misfortune on being disease free during adulthood is not trivial; the effect size is on par with widely known risk factors. (p. 118)