Community support can help trauma-stricken kids

New York, April 30 (IANS) Family, social and community strength can have a protective effect against adverse childhood experiences, researchers say.

Ccommunity support can boost kids to become strong and increase their chances of flourishing from long-term physical and mental health problems that results from childhood hardship and trauma.

People who experience economic hardship, exposure to violence or the death of a loved one are more likely to have lasting physical and mental health problems.

“We focused on questions about ACEs exposure, but also family, social and community assets that could serve to moderate that risk or enhance resilience,” said lead study author Iman Sharif from Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington in the US.

The team analysed data from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health to gauge children’s health and well-being, physical, emotional and behavioural health indicators, family context and neighbourhood environment.

Additional protective factors identified included fathers in excellent mental health, mothers and fathers who had completed at least some college, living in a neighbourhood with amenities such as sidewalks, a library, a park and a recreation centre, and mothers in good physical health.

“With appropriate screening to identify children at risk we can support children and families through the patient-centred medical home, linking parents to mental health services and building community social supports to help children succeed,” Sharif advised.

The study was scheduled to be presented at the Pediatrics Academic Societies 2016 meeting in Baltimore.



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