Clinically Speaking is a blog that will allow anyone to learn about Social Work, case presentations in psychotherapy, and the relationship of pop culture in psychology. Come one...come all!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Growing Pains: Bullying & Violence may speed aging

Last week a study was published that childhood bullying and violence have the DNA decay associated with elder adults. It was found that a specific chromosone, Telomeres, is affected in children with violence-related stress. Telomeres, which prevent DNA from unraveling, get shorter each time cells divide, which limits the number of times cells can divide. Early breakdown indicates poor survival and chronic disease. The study was conducted out of Duke University and was a longitudinal study. As reported by US News and World Report, the Duke team found that children with a history of two or more kinds of violent exposures -- such as domestic violence, frequent bullying or physical abuse by an adult -- had significantly more telomere loss than other children. Idan Shalev, a postdoctoral researcher in psychology and neuroscience at Duke University's Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, said "this is the first time it has been shown that our telomeres can shorten at a faster rate even at a really young age, while kids are still experiencing stress." 

The majority of studies that are conducted in world of psychology are treatment and assessment based. Meaning, after psychological event happens this is how to treat or when we assess a person we should look for this or that, but what about preventative measures? Granted, we cannot predict that a child or even an adult will be exposed to any amount of bullying or violence, but if we are able to educate the masses better, maybe we can avoid the decay of that chromosome and allow kids to be kids and develop emotionally at the right times.

Make your Monday not Mundane!

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