Poverty, smoking and long-term bullying during childhood have previously been reported to adversely impact health. In this study The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention followed over 17,000 men and women to evaluate the impact of childhood stress on future health problems. People who reported verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, having a battered mother, having a family member incarcerated, living with a family member who abuses drugs or alcohol, living with mentally ill person, or having parents separated or divorced during childhood were more likely to die prematurely. Those who reported 6 or more of the negative childhood experiences were 1 ½ times more likely to die prematurely than those who reported none. People with bad childhood experiences died at about age 61 compared to 79 years of age for people who didn’t have negative experiences as children.
It is important for adult guardians to recognize and try to alleviate these childhood stressors. Further research is also needed in this area.