New Research Links Child Maltreatment to Generational Health Outcomes
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
New findings suggest health effects stemming from child maltreatment can be passed on to the next generation.
In South Dakota, leaders in early-childhood support said there are ways to limit the impact of traumatic events within a family's history.
The research was led by the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes Program and the National Institutes of Health. It said children of mothers exposed to childhood maltreatment had higher rates of asthma, ADHD and autism.
Darbi Hunt, family lead for South Dakota's Early Childhood Comprehensive System's Collaborative, said guidance and early screening are vital in reversing such outcomes.
"It's important that we look for ways to help understand better practices," Hunt stressed. "Provide them the resources, the knowledge and the skills so that we can try and break that cycle."
The state is expanding its Bright Start visiting program for income-eligible households, where a personal nurse supports mothers during and after birth. And there are parenting classes, too. But Hunt noted awareness and accessibility can be a challenge in a rural state like South Dakota, and she urged agencies to team up to prevent families from falling through the cracks.
Darla Biel, assistant director of the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment, said the findings add to the long history of research showing how a surrounding environment can impact child development. But she emphasized a history of abuse or neglect does not mean a family is permanently broken.
"They may have experienced adversity," Biel acknowledged. "That doesn't mean that they're not able to be supported, and not able to move forward in healthy and safe ways with their children and their families."
Biel added parents navigating adversity should feel no shame in asking for help, noting they are not alone in trying to cope with stress while raising a child.
According to last year's State of Babies data summary, 22% of South Dakota mothers reported less than optimal mental health. Parenting classes are offered through the state's Social Services department.
get more stories like this via email
The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature has passed a number of bills that some immigration advocates are calling "SB 1070 2.0." Senate Bill 1231…
A recent report details how great wealth that later made philanthropy possible around the country but most evidently in the District of Columbia…
New agricultural census data show a significant increase in production value for New England farms over the past five years. There are nearly 31,000 …
Colorado's standardized health-insurance plan, known as the Colorado Option, is changing how consumers interact with insurance, according to a new …
As the hearing for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act approaches, advocacy groups are reflecting on its importance. For the nonprofit …
Evictions are on the rise in Nebraska and in many places around the country. Nearly 2,500 more eviction proceedings were initiated in Nebraska courts …
More than a dozen states hold presidential primaries on this Super Tuesday. Minnesota is among them, and the election is seen as a big opportunity …
Wisconsin faces a big staffing shortage of registered nurses. Advocates hope for key solutions to bear fruit amid unease about the emergence of for-…