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Socio-Economic Disadvantage in Childhood Will Likely Lead to Suffering

In a recent study, investigators from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln discovered that children raised by parents who left them deprived were more likely to suffer from chronic pain and mental illness later in life. The study, led by Dr. Bridget Goosby, examined conditions that were related to socio-economic status in families and the outcomes these conditions would produce later in life. For example, what would happen to kids who experienced hunger or who had parents that never graduated from high school? Children from such families were considered socio-economically disadvantaged for the purposes of this study.

Additionally, maternal depression was considered as a factor in the study. It is clear that a mother’s mental condition is of high importance in relation to the overall health of the family. There is a strong connection in that mothers with maternal depression are likely to rear children who will grow up to experience mental health issues or suffer from chronic pain.

One of the major findings of this study was that experiencing hunger in childhood had strong correlations with experiencing depression and chronic pain problems later in life.

Sadly, the findings of this study are very important in the United States today, where one out of five children still suffer from hunger. That statistic is provided by The numbers in other countries across the globe are even higher.

Are millions of America’s children being set up for a life of depression and chronic pain simply because they aren’t able to get enough food to eat? The findings of this recent study conducted by Goosby would provide grounds to answer that question with a “yes.” The most prevalent socio-economic condition found in the study was experiencing hunger. Children without access to proper nutrition or who otherwise don’t get enough calories have a much higher probability of suffering from pain and depression in their adulthood.

Researchers gathered survey data from 4,339 people from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Goosby and the others concluded several things from the study. Previous research has already established that pain and depression are biologically linked, so this study intends to explore the link even further.

Another finding was that children who grew up in families with parents who received little education were at a much higher risk to encounter chronic pain later in life.

The authors of this study have high hopes, wishing to educate the public about the growing evidence that childhood circumstance has on health outcome.  One of the great things about our country is that we have the power to choose. By educating families about these issues, we are empowering them to make healthy choices. Making the right choices early in life can save some of us the grief that accompanies aging and growing up in a deprived family.                         

Since childhood deprivation often causes suffering later in life, it’s probably fair to conclude that nourishing and loving a child will help to ensure that he or she will lead a happy, healthy life.


Source: Nauert, Rick. “Childhood and Developmental Disorders.” PsychCentral. PsychCentral, 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 01 Mar. 2013.

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Kevin Giles is a product of Santa Cruz, CA – the stoner capitol of the world. A born again Christian, Kevin loves his Lord Jesus and believes that his purpose in life is determined by God. He first entered drug recovery at the age of 19, suffering from an addiction to marijuana. He is a recent graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Passionate about God’s Word, he aspires to become a pastor or missionary. Kevin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. His interests include traveling, movies, golf, fitness and reading. He also enjoys being outdoors as well as spending time with friends and family. Kevin’s faith, education and life experience give him a unique perspective on addiction, recovery and spirituality.

Filed under: Conditions and Disorders, Life, Love and Relationships, Mental Illness, Research · Tags: childhood, chronic pain, depression, Deprivation, Disadvantages, Hunger, Malnourished, Maternal Depression, mental illness, poverty, Socio-Economic Diversity is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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