?Effects of Trauma on Children
Northwestern State University
Every person has an explanation for the reason they are when they are older. Some people’s explanation maybe around the subject of a traumatic childhood. The experiences of children are shown throughout school and their grades, and it is always not true, but it is most of the time. Usually, children who have had a pretty tough life does not excel in school, compared to the ones who have a steady home with a simpler life. This, also, goes along with how socially successful children can be. The studies in this essay will demonstrate and explain the effects of trauma on children.
The time of most change in a human’s life is during the stage of being a child. That is the time in which humans learn a language, obtain motor skills, and develop their emotions or thoughts, and this is all child development. In this summary, there will be two research articles about traumatic experiences on children and how that affects them in school, but also their social skills. One of the articles (study 1) is “Educational consequences of loss and trauma.” The study of this was to see how trauma has affected their grades, while the other article (study 2) is “Understanding the emotional impact of domestic violence on young children.” The reason behind why these were chosen, is to better understand why certain children or possible teenager act the way they do after experiencing something that is very life-changing in a negative way.
In each of the studies, of course, they consisted of children/adolescents. In study 1, children were tested for trauma, and the ones with bad cases of PTSD had a very low GPA for school. The study was about a fire that happened in Sweden and there were about 400 kids there. There was 213 injured and 63 young people killed. Study 2 used children of the ages 5-8, along with their mothers who had been physically assaulted. The children knew of the violence that was happening and sometimes was seeing it happen in front of their face or may hear it from the room beside them.
A couple of years after the fire for study 1, there were interviews for the survivors, and it showed that the traumatic experience resulted in an impact on school performance for the adolescents. Not all kids, but some, had to take a class twice or quit going to school. The researchers went into deeper detail to see which classes were harder for the kids, and the results were math, science, and English because these are harder and require more knowledge. There were negative obstacles for the students and is shown to be having trouble focusing on certain things, along with perception and learning from past experiences. Not only were their grades and academic performance decreasing, but they did suffer socially.
In the 2nd study, it is shown that the kids that have gone through traumatic experiences had been affected emotionally. These children had problems such as depression, aggression, and anxiety. While interviewing each kid, the conclusion came up that the children see the atmosphere differently after an episode of violence and can describe what happened, but it is different from an adult perspective. This really shows how different the point-of-views from children to adults are. This is the reason researchers must go into such detail when doing the experiments, especially details such as if the parent was in the room at the time of the interview, because that could affect the results tremendously. Some children talk more and are not as afraid to speak of the events when their parent is not around, and for some others, it is the exact opposite.
Each study is supported by the other because both conclusions and results were the same- children/adolescents are majorly impacted by traumatic experiences, whether it is from low GPA in school or being socially different. The kids use this as a defense- they are scared to venture out of their comfort zone and experience what the world has. They become sheltered. Kids that go through this route, can most likely and will most likely end up with PTSD. To participate in this study would have to been emotionally draining to bring back the memories of the traumatic experience, but it is amazing to see the results of it all. Although, I feel like there would be a relief for the participant because they would know that there is a reason for their school performance and the way they present themselves socially. The results would let them know that they are not alone in facing the problem. If I were to be the researcher on this topic, I would try to get to know each student or child personally so that it will be easier to get results.
Dyregrov, A. (2004). LOSS, SEPARATION AND BEREAVEMENT (Vol. 21).
Thorton, V. (2014). Understanding the emotional impact of domestic violence on young children