There are many lifelong effects of childhood abuse. Child abuse and neglect can do significant and long-lasting damage, according to a six-decade review of British data.
The analysis of records dating to the late 1950s found that children who experienced physical or sexual abuse were more likely to die early as adults.
“Our work shows the long-lasting consequences that specific types of child abuse and neglect can have. The findings are especially important because these early-life adversities are not uncommon, affecting millions of people,” first study author Dr. Nina Rogers says.
Senior author Dr. Snehal Pinto Pereira describes the study as the first to tease out the links between different kinds of childhood mistreatment and early death.
“Very few studies have considered the long-term implications of experiencing neglect in childhood,” Pereira, a lecturer in population health and applied statistics at University College London says. “I, therefore, think our finding that children who are neglected have a 43% higher risk of dying early in adulthood, highlights a critical component of child maltreatment where knowledge of long-term outcomes is particularly sparse.”
The impact is significant, the researchers suggest in a university news release.
A crime survey for England and Wales estimated that one in five adults between 18 and 74 experienced at least one form of child abuse by age 16, including psychological, physical or sexual abuse, or witnessing domestic violence or abuse.
Effects of childhood abuse
Here are 6 ways adults who experienced child abuse are likely to have a shorter life: