A study finds that trauma in childhood can harm mental and physical health in later life.


  • Research has shown that childhood trauma can affect physical and mental health in a multitude of ways

The Study


  • Compared to those with no childhood trauma, poor mental health was nearly three times more prevalent among those who experienced four or more adverse childhood events
  • Even just one type of childhood adversity was associated with an increased risk of poor mental health
    • Two or more was associated with higher odds of disability, and four or more with chronic physical health problems
  • Risk of heart disease higher among people who had experienced emotional or sexual abuse, witnessed interpersonal violence, or lived in a household where there was substance abuse
  • Risk of Asthma higher among those among those from a household with substance abuse, mental illness or divorce

Conclusions drawn

  • Socioeconomic factors didn't fully explain the findings
  • Policy and programs to address child poverty are important in their own right, but will not fully mitigate the effect of adverse childhood experiences
  • Study calls for more widespread prevention and intervention initiatives
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