Eradicating the roots of childhood trauma [indianapolisrecorder.com]

 

On the east side of Indianapolis in late March, a barrage of bullets sprayed through a home, killing 1-year-old Malaysia Robson as she slept on the couch. It was a drive-by shooting in the middle of the night by two men in their late 20s. It’s the kind of violence that can shake a community, leaving its distraught members wondering how much more they can take.

Community violence — and other forms of trauma — are especially harmful for children. They’re called adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and they include trauma such as abuse, domestic violence and neglect, as well as systemic trauma such as racism and poverty. Accumulated, they negatively impact long-term health. As the number of ACEs increase, so does the risk of ailments such as depression, alcoholism and financial stress, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Poor African-American children are more likely to experience this trauma. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports nearly 64 percent of Black children have at least one ACE, compared to 40 percent of white children and 51 percent of Hispanic children. And 62 percent of children with family incomes under 200 percent of the federal poverty level have at least one ACE, compared to 26 percent of children in families with income higher than 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

[For more on this story by TYLER FENWICK, go to http://www.indianapolisrecorde...6e-5ff66cfbe275.html]

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