Household dysfunction or any adverse event in childhood may have a short-term affect on a child’s health and weight in early days as well, finds a study. The study suggested that children exposed to early adversity also have increased risk for asthma, infection, somatic complaints, and sleep disruption. Maternal mental health issues are associated with elevated cortisol levels, and maltreatment is associated with a lower cortisol profile.
For the study, the researchers examined 39 cohort studies to determine the effect that adverse childhood experiences have on health and biological outcomes in children.
“The majority of research on early adversity has looked at long-term adult outcomes. While this research has helped identify the problem, we must also deepen our understanding of what is happening in the brains and bodies of our children as they experience adversity,” said Debby Oh, Researcher at the Center for Youth Wellness, US in a statement.
The researchers suggested that with appropriate intervention, children are able to recover from some of these negative health effects, making early detection a powerful tool to protect the health and well-being of children before long-term adult outcomes occur.