By: Krystle Crossman
The National Institute of Child and Human Development has conducted research that shows that black men may be at a severe disadvantage later in life if they experienced any kind of adversity when they were children. A team of sociologists combed through data from the Americans Changing Lives project and found some interesting facts about being a disadvantaged youth.
The data was pulled from 3,477 Americans. They were all aged 25 or older and they were either white or black. Every one of these participants were interviewed four times over the course of 15 years. They answered questions on the interview about their childhoods, parents’ marital problems, violence in the home, and other domestic issues. They were also asked to talk about their life as an adult and some of the challenges that they may have faced or hardships that they have come across, such as divorce, financial problems, work issues, or the death of someone close to them.
What the researchers found after analyzing this data was that the differences between the two races were very pronounced. Black males were 28% more likely to have a hard childhood which lead to negative effects in adulthood that were three times more prevalent than in white males. With the women they found that white women were healthier than black women, but there was no explanation that they could see as their childhoods did not differ as much as the males. The researchers feel that this may be because women are more open to getting support and talking about their issues, which is good for protecting their health.
A traumatic childhood could bring on stressors that affect the person later in life, almost like a case of PTSD. They carry that stress with them through their lives and whenever it is triggered again, it adds more stress that they may already have which is bad for your health.