HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

BYU Studies Show Impact Of Stress Before Age 5

Mar 30, 2021, 5:50 PM | Updated: 8:06 pm

PROVO, Utah – Traumatic childhood events may shape girls’ delinquency behaviors and parenting practices by fathers, according to two new mental health studies from Brigham Young University.

Sociology professors Dr. Melissa Jones and Dr. Hayley Pierce worked on one study that looked at how girls react to the number of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, by age 5, and Dr. Kevin Shafer worked with a sociology professor out of Boston College examining patterns in men with past ACEs.

ACEs — which may include abuse, neglect and severe household dysfunction often lead to psychological and social struggles that reach into adulthood, researchers said.

Jones and Pierce’s study showed that girls who experience four or more ACEs by age 5 were 36% more likely to participate in delinquent or criminal behavior.

“These youth are doing delinquent acts and we respond to them as delinquents we don’t respond to them as children who are traumatized,” said Pierce.

“Often these children have never been taught how to cope with these experiences,” Jones added.

Shafer’s study found that fathers who experienced at least three ACEs by age 5 were more likely to use harsh disciplinary techniques when parenting, rather than showing patience and compassion.

“We have an issue here where we have a lot of men walking around with undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues associated with their childhood,” Shafer said.

But there is hope. Jones admitted she herself came from a dysfunctional home, but it was the love and support of others that kept her on the right track.

“I’m an ACE child. I’m a product of six ACEs,” she said. “(Children) can move forward in their life and live a very healthy life and parent the way they want to parent.”

“This ACE research hopefully redirects our angle of intervention and saying OK, these things happened to you and we are going to alter your path because these are not you,” Pierce said.

“It really speaks to the importance of getting help and realizing the potential negative impacts that these things can have in the long term,” Shafer said.

Jones and Pierce’s study was published in the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, while Shafer’s study was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

The professors are hoping their findings can help everyone from political leaders to mental health experts to families navigate ways to help those in this situation.

Click here for more on the studies.

KSL 5 TV Live

Healthy Mind Matters

Lauren Hess has struggled with depression since she was a teen. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects...

Emma Benson

‘You can actually find joy again’: Why Utahns are at higher risk for seasonal affective disorder, how to cope

Seasonal affective disorder affects about 10% of Utahns, according to a Huntsman Mental Health Institute doctor.

29 days ago

(Safe2Feel)...

Tamara Vaifanua

Free SAFE2FEEL conference teaches coping, confidence-building skills

Mental health experts say there’s an epidemic of loneliness. 

1 month ago

(Laura Warburton)...

Emma Benson

‘Because of Hannah’: Utah mom who lost daughter to suicide provides resources for others

Laura Warburton remembers her daughter, Hannah, as a warrior.

3 months ago

SafeUT app...

Logan Stefanich, KSL.com 

SafeUT app sees ‘record-breaking’ use in 2023

The SafeUT app saw "record-breaking" utilization during 2023, program leaders and partners announced Tuesday.

4 months ago

Kelsey (left) and Wendy Fayle (right) holding up a NAMI sign. (Courtesy: Wendy Fayle)...

Candice Madsen, KSL TV

NAMI Utah offers free classes for parents and adolescents dealing with mental illness

NAMI is offering free classes for both parents and adolescents that are dealing with mental illness.

4 months ago

YCC text messages...

Alex Cabrero

YCC Family Crisis Center in Ogden now accepting text messages

It is certainly not the easiest job out there. Amber Paaso will be the first to tell you she's burned out of doing it in the past. 

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

BYU Studies Show Impact Of Stress Before Age 5