Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood, Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal

December 20, 2012 Comments Off on Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood, Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal

Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood

Dec. 18, 2012 — A recent study by a researcher at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) at the Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine and professor at the Université de Montréal suggests that bullying by peers changes the structure surrounding a gene involved in regulating mood, making victims more vulnerable to mental health problems as they age.

The study published in the journal Psychological Medicine seeks to better understand the mechanisms that explain how difficult experiences disrupt our response to stressful situations. “Many people think that our genes are immutable; however this study suggests that environment, even the social environment, can affect their functioning. This is particularly the case for victimization experiences in childhood, which change not only our stress response but also the functioning of genes involved in mood regulation,” says Isabelle Ouellet-Morin, lead author of the study.

A previous study by Ouellet-Morin, conducted at the Institute of Psychiatry in London (UK), showed that bullied children secrete less cortisol — the stress hormone — but had more problems with social interaction and aggressive behaviour. The present study indicates that the reduction of cortisol, which occurs around the age of 12, is preceded two years earlier by a change in the structure surrounding a gene (SERT) that regulates serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation and depression….
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121218081615.htm

Increased serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation is associated with bullying victimization and blunted cortisol response to stress in childhood: a longitudinal study of discordant monozygotic twins. Ouellet-Morin, C. C. Y. Wong, A. Danese, C. M. Pariante, A. S. Papadopoulos, J. Mill, L. Arseneault.  Psychological Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1017/S0033291712002784

Increased serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation is associated with bullying victimization and blunted cortisol response to stress in childhood: a longitudinal study of discordant monozygotic twins

Background
Childhood adverse experiences are known to induce persistent changes in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity to stress. However, the mechanisms by which these experiences shape the neuroendocrine response to stress remain unclear.

Method
We tested whether bullying victimization influenced serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation using a discordant monozygotic (MZ) twin design. A subsample of 28 MZ twin pairs discordant for bullying victimization, with data on cortisol and DNA methylation, were identified in the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative 1994–1995 cohort of families with twins….

Conclusions
Our study extends findings drawn from animal models, supports the hypothesis that early-life stress modifies DNA methylation at a specific cytosine–phosphate–guanine (CpG) site in the SERT promoter and HPA functioning and suggests that these two systems may be functionally associated.
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8777435

Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal     
By LOLITA C. BALDOR | Associated Press  12/19/12

WASHINGTON (AP) — At least 31 people were fired from two Army day care centers at Fort Myer, Va., last week after officials scrutinized their backgrounds and found criminal convictions ranging from fourth-degree sexual assault and drug use to other assaults, a defense official said Wednesday….

According to officials, one person was charged with four counts of assault on children and the other was charged with five counts of assault. The alleged actions included hitting, grabbing or pushing the children. In the days after the arrests, the two administrators were dismissed, others were brought in and town hall meetings took place with parents.
http://news.yahoo.com/officials-31-people-fired-army-daycare-scandal-012217735–politics.html

Abuse During Childhood Linked to Adult-Onset Asthma in African-American Women

December 10, 2012 Comments Off on Abuse During Childhood Linked to Adult-Onset Asthma in African-American Women

Abuse During Childhood Linked to Adult-Onset Asthma in African-American Women

Dec. 7, 2012 – According to a new study from the Slone Epidemiology Center (SEC) at Boston University, African-American women who reported suffering abuse before age 11 had a greater likelihood of adult-onset asthma compared to women whose childhood and adolescence were free of abuse.

The study, which is published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, was led by Patricia Coogan, DSc, senior epidemiologist at SEC and associate professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health.

This study followed 28,456 African-American women, all of whom are participants in the Black Women’s Health Study, between 1995-2011. They completed health questionnaires and provided information on physical and sexual abuse during childhood up to age 11 and adolescence, ages 12-18.

The results indicate that the incidence of adult-onset asthma was increased by more than 20 percent among women who had been abused during childhood. The evidence was stronger for physical abuse than for sexual abuse. There was little indication, however, that abuse during adolescence was associated with the risk of adult-onset asthma….
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121207133240.htm

Abuse during childhood and adolescence and risk of adult-onset asthma in African American women
Patricia F. Coogan, ScD, Lauren A. Wise, ScD, George T. O’Connor, MD, Timothy A. Brown, PsyD. Julie R. Palmer, ScD, Lynn Rosenberg, ScD

….In this large cohort of African American women, there was a positive association between adult-onset asthma and childhood physical abuse and weaker associations for childhood sexual abuse and any abuse during adolescence.
http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749%2812%2901691-0/abstract

Violence and Childhood: How Persisting Fear Can Alter the Developing Child’s Brain

August 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

Violence and Childhood: How Persisting Fear Can Alter the Developing Child’s Brain – A Special ChildTrauma Academy WebSite version of:


The Neurodevelopmental Impact of Violence in Childhood
Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.


The ChildTrauma Academy  http://www.ChildTrauma.org Web Version DRAFT
Perry, B.D. (2001b). The neurodevelopmental impact of violence in childhood. In Schetky D & Benedek, E. (Eds.) Textbook of child and adolescent forensic psychiatry. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, Inc. (221-238)\


Violence in Childhood: Scope of the Problem  – Violence in the Home


Childhood is a dangerous time. For infants and children, survival is dependent upon adults, most typically, the nuclear family. It is in the family setting that the child is fed, clothed, sheltered, nurtured and educated. Unfortunately, it is in the familial incubator that children are most frequently manipulated, coerced, degraded, inoculated with destructive beliefs and exposed to violence.


The home is the most violent place in America
(Straus, 1974). In 1995, the FBI reported that 27% of all violent crime involves family on family violence, 48% involved acquaintances with the violence often occurring in the home (National Incident-Based Reporting System, Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 1999). Children are often the witnesses to, or victims of, these violent crimes.
Violent crime statistics, however, grossly underestimate the prevalence of violence in the home. It is likely that less than 5% of all domestic violence results in a criminal report. Intra-familial abuse and domestic battery account for the majority of physical and emotional violence suffered by children in this country (see Koop et al., 1992; Horowitz et al., 1995; Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, 1995). This violence takes many forms. The child may witness the assault of her mother by father or boyfriend. The child may be the direct victim of violence – physical or emotional – from father, mother or even older siblings. Straus and Gelles (1996) have estimated that over 29 million children commit an act of violence against a sibling each year. The child may become the direct victim of the adult male if he or she tries to intervene and protect mother or sibling. While these all cause physical violence, an additional destructive element of this intra-familial toxicity is emotional violence – humiliation, coercion, degradation, and threat of abandonment or physical assault. http://www.childtrauma.org/ctamaterials/Vio_child.asp

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