How Are Adverse Childhood Experiences Related to Mental and Physical Health in Later Life Essay
Student Number: 10343107 Word Count: 1,122 Based on the landmark study “Adverse Childhood Experience Study” (and/or other studies), discuss the empirical evidence regarding the effects of childhood abuse and neglect on adult mental and physical health. Research has shown that certain health problems increase with the amount of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) the individual reports. Continuous stress arising from ACEs, causes neurobiological changes in the brain, resulting in impairment of the normal development of multiple brain structures and functions that are associated with a range of mental and physical health problems.
In addition to this other maladaptive behaviours that arise from abuse may also contribute to behaviours that exacerbate or precipitate the health problems to be discussed (Anda et al, 2006). Consistent stress results in dysregulation of the Hypothalamic Pituitary and Adrenal axis (HPA axis) and related systems having adverse effects on the brain. The inhibitory mechanism that allows cortisol levels return back to normal does not develop properly. Having a low stress threshold and high stress levels from a young age generates diminished resilience in overcoming stressful situations in later life.