The Impact of Trauma on Childhood Development

As part of our Future of Healthcare series, Denise Rodgers, MD, Vice Chancellor, Interprofessional Programs at Rutgers University, and Steve Adubato discuss trauma informed care, the impact of trauma on child development, and the critical period of development between the ages of birth to three.

4/13/2019 #305






"We are honored to be joined by Doctor Denise Rodgers, who is Vice Chancellor at Rutgers University in the area of? Interprofessional Programs. You're also one of the smartest, the most impactful physician leaders that I have ever spoken to, particularly on the subject of what is being called trauma-informed care. Talk about it Doctor. So we have increasingly learned over the last 20 plus years the impact of trauma on child development and subsequently on the health of adults. And we're now increasingly interested in understanding less of what's wrong with you and more of what has happened to you. For example? So for example, we know that adults who in childhood experience six or more adverse events will have a life expectancy that's 20 years less than the average life expectancy. Okay. Adverse childhood experiences, otherwise known as ACEs. Otherwise known as ACEs. And... By the way, excuse me. Check out on NJTV, the site'll be up. Our good friend Michael Hill, we just... we had a conversation with him. He did a five-part series on this topic. Check it out. I'm sorry. Yes. And so one of the things that we know about ACEs, that include things like physical, emotional, sexual abuse, physical and emotional neglect, having a parent with a mental illness, having a parent with a substance use disorder, having an incarcerated parent, having parents who have had a very difficult divorce. Children who are exposed to these things then have difficulty, often as they're growing up, with emotional regulation, sometimes with learning, because they grow up in this heightened sense of stress. They never know what's coming next. And because of the physiologic effects on children, as they get older, oftentimes they'll self-medicate. So they smoke, or they drink, or they may use drugs, or they may eat. And what that leads to then are increased rates of heart disease, cancer, but also we see higher rates of suicide, higher rates of depression and substance use, that sort of thing. Along this... along these lines doctor, and we'll put up the... our Right From the Start NJ. We have an ongoing initiative where we're trying to deal with the needs of infants and toddlers. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Okay? And those who care for them. Mm hmm. These adverse childhood experiences, do they, can they in fact, happen from zero to three? Absolutely they could happen from zero to three. Imagine it. I mean, that first several years are the periods when it's most critical for children to be nurtured by their parents. If they're neglected, if they're not coddled and talked to and held, that has..."