Friday November 22, 2019

Childhood Violence May Spur Puberty, Depression: Study

The association between the ageing metrics and symptoms of depression may offer a way for doctors to identify children who need help, the researchers said

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Depression is a major issue affecting millions of people, especially the teenagers. Pixabay

Children who are exposed to violence such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse are more likely to experience faster biological ageing, including pubertal development and increased symptoms of depression, finds a research.

The study showed that in children who experienced early life violence, accelerated epigenetic ageing was associated with increased symptoms of depression.

This means that faster biological ageing may be one way that early life adversity “gets under the skin” to contribute to later health problems.

Conversely, children exposed to forms of early life deprivation including neglect and food insecurity were more likely to experience their puberty at a later stage compared with their peers, the researchers said.

“The findings demonstrate that different types of early-life adversity can have different consequences for children’s development,” said Katie McLaughlin, postdoctoral student at the University of Washington.

350 million people are known to suffer depression Pixabay
The study showed that in children who experienced early life violence, accelerated epigenetic ageing was associated with increased symptoms of depression. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, the team examined 247 children and adolescents aged eight to 16 years.

The results indicated that accelerated ageing following exposure to violence early in life can already be detected in children as young as eight years old.

In addition, the team found that there is a need for increased societal investment in reducing the exposure of children to violence and for biomedical and psychological research to reduce the impact of these experiences throughout the lives of these vulnerable individuals.

Also Read- Do Not Toxify The Environment Senselessly

The association between the ageing metrics and symptoms of depression may offer a way for doctors to identify children who need help, the researchers said.

“Accelerated epigenetic age and pubertal stage could be used to identify youth who are developing faster than expected given their chronological age and who might benefit from intervention,” McLaughlin noted. (IANS)

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40% Parents Struggle to see Depression Signs in Kids: Study

Most parents also believe schools should play a role in identifying potential depression, with seven in 10 supporting depression screening starting in middle school, the study said

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In boys it is previous depressive symptoms which determine subsequent suicidal ideation. Pixabay

Telling the difference between a teen’s normal ups and downs or something bigger is among the top challenges parents face while identifying depression among the youth, says a new study.

Forty per cent of parents struggle to differentiate between normal mood swings and signs of depression, while 30 per cent are tricked as their child hides his/her feelings well, according to a new national poll in the US.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan, is based on responses from 819 parents with at least one child in middle school, junior high, or high school.

“In many families, the preteen and teen years bring dramatic changes both in youth behaviour and in the dynamic between parents and children,” said poll co-director Sarah Clark.

“These transitions can make it particularly challenging to get a read on children’s emotional state and whether there is possible depression,” Clark added.

According to the researchers, some parents might be overestimating their ability to recognise depression in the mood and behaviour of their own child.

An overconfident parent may fail to pick up on the subtle signals that something is amiss.

suicide, world, deaths, study
Depression is among the leading causes of disability in the U.S. and is being closely monitored by health authorities amid rising suicides nationwide. Pixabay

The poll also suggests that the topic of depression is all too familiar for middle and high school students.

One in four parents say their child knows a peer or classmate with depression, and one in 10 say their child knows a peer or classmate who has died by suicide.

This level of familiarity with depression and suicide is consistent with recent statistics showing a dramatic increase in suicide among US youth over the past decade.

Rising rates of suicide highlight the importance of recognising depression in youth.

Also Read: Study Finds No Link Between Fish Oil and Prostrate Cancer

Compared to the ratings of their own ability, parents polled were also less confident that their preteens or teens would recognise depression in themselves.

“Parents should stay vigilant on spotting any signs of potential depression in kids, which may vary from sadness and isolation to anger, irritability and acting out,” said Clark.

Most parents also believe schools should play a role in identifying potential depression, with seven in 10 supporting depression screening starting in middle school, the study said. (IANS)