Childhood adversity can have a life-long impact on mental health and behavior. Adults who experienced childhood adversity are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.
College students with higher levels of anxiety and depression were more likely to have experienced childhood adversity than their peers, researchers found.
Exposure to violence and childhood adversity has a negative effect on the developing brain. Neuroimaging reveals adolescents who experienced adversity and violence as children had reduced connectivity between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. However, social support may act as a buffer and reduce the negative effects of early life stress.
Experiencing early life adversities leads to disruptions in multiple systems of self-control and cortisol levels, which continues through childhood.