Trauma and Domestic Violence Can Stress Children

Domestic Violence and Trauma Impact Young Children

ANN ARBOR, MICH (WXYZ) - Young children are more likely to have some sort of traumatic stress if they witness violence in the home and a traumatic experience.

This from a University of Michigan study that tested children who were ages 4 through 6 and had been in domestic violent situations in the past couple of years.

If the children had also been in situations where there were other trauma like physical assaults, family sexual assaults, or even life threatening sicknesses, it was discovered that those kids had a higher rate of post traumatic stress than those who merely experienced the domestic violence.

The children surveyed were low income. Typically, the households that had less than $7,500 annual income. This is believed to be the group that encounters domestic violence more often.

The women with these children were surveyed about abuse in the home. They were asked how the children reacted before and after the incidents and if there were any additional trauma situations.

The study showed that there could be additional pressures on children in school and in social situations.

Team leader and a professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Sandra Graham-Berman says this study is important because, "Such findings draw attention to an at-risk sample of children who may be labeled as aggressive due to their behavior problems, but are in fact highly traumatized." Knowing this, these children can then be treated.


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