Saturday, February 22, 2020

Are positive childhood experiences good for you as an adult?

I am often asked by parents, “Did I mess my kids up”. This common question happens after some parent/teen argument that was particularly nasty.
I like to point out that parenting is a very long marathon and one nasty argument is not very powerful. The goal is to get the kids to 18 with both eyes. This often is hard, because kids often like to do stuff that endangers themselves.
Studies have shown that long term negative childhood experiences can lead to an increased likelihood of adult depression and underdeveloped relationship skills.
In this study, the authors looked at positive childhood experiences and how they influence adulthood wellbeing.

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Positive Childhood Experiences and Adult Mental Health
In this cross-sectional study, in JAMA Pediatrics shows adults that reported higher incidences of positive childhood experiences (PCEs) also reported lower incidences of depression and/or poor mental health (D/PMH).
The researchers’ state: 
Conclusions and Relevance  Positive childhood experiences show dose-response associations with D/PMH and ARSES after accounting for exposure to [adverse childhood experiences] ACEs. The proactive promotion of PCEs for children may reduce risk for adult D/PMH and promote adult relational health. Joint assessment of PCEs and ACEs may better target needs and interventions and enable a focus on building strengths to promote well-being. Findings support prioritizing possibilities to foster safe, stable nurturing relationships for children that consider the health outcomes of positive experiences.

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