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Stressful experiences have big, immediate effects on children’s health

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From UF News

Science has shown that children who experience stressful events are more likely to face poor health outcomes as adults, but new research shows the effects may show up much sooner — in fact, almost immediately.

Researchers at the University of Florida discovered that when children experience three or more stressful events, they are six times more likely to suffer from a mental, physical or learning disorder than children who didn’t face these traumatic experiences, said Melissa Bright, a research coordinator for the UF Institute of Child Health Policy, or ICHP. Bright presented her findings at the American Psychosomatic Society’s annual meeting on March 12, in San Francisco.

“The kids who have the highest number of adverse experiences have the highest likelihood of having multiple conditions,” Bright said. “It is not one poor health outcome; it is a whole slew of poor outcomes across the board.”


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