Studies on the brain show that physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in childhood can:
With help from families, providers, and the community, young children can demonstrate resilience when dealing with trauma.
New brain imaging surveys and other techniques show that physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in childhood (as well as stress in the form of exposure to violence, warfare, or famine) can cause permanent damage to the neural structure and function of the developing brain. In addition to the implications outlined in the data point above, traumatic or stressful experiences can lead to conditions such as borderline personality disorder, dissociative episodes, hallucinations, delusions, psychosis, paranoia, anger outbursts, and impaired attention. Whether in the form of physical, emotional or sexual trauma, or exposure to warfare or famine, stress can set off a ripple of hormonal changes and key brain alterations that may be irreversible.1
However, research has shown that caregivers can buffer the impact of trauma and promote better outcomes for children even under stressful times when the following Strengthening Families Protective Factors2 are present:
Trauma Data Source:
Use these sample messages to share this early childhood trauma and resilience data point with your connections on Twitter and Facebook and via email.
Twitter: Physical, emotional or sexual abuse in childhood can impact a child's developing brain. Find out how: http://1.usa.gov/faK4p1 via @samhsagov #1in5.http://1.usa.gov/faK4p1
Facebook: Studies on the brain show that physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in childhood can impact a child's developing brain. Learn more about childhood trauma's impact on childhood development and pass it on to observe National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day: http://1.usa.gov/faK4p1