Bridging the Relationship Gap
Chapter Four: How What We Experience Shapes Us
By Tom Lent
In Chapter 4, “How What We Experience Shapes Us,” the forms, frequency and consequences of early adversity are discussed, as well as some suggested, appropriate approaches.
Abuse, neglect, domestic violence, extreme poverty, trafficking, natural disasters, chronic malnutrition, witnessing violent acts, and/or horror happen frequently across the globe in early childhood. Millions of children suffer conditions of extreme deprivation and danger and grow up in households, institutions and communities without protective care.
The resultant trauma is not just the experience of a threatening or harmful event, but also a person’s perception of the event as being overwhelming. PTSD can have a significant impact on the emotional, social and cognitive functioning in adults and adolescents. Importantly, countries and nations will not reach their potential if children do not reach theirs.
International work in child protection over the past decades might provide insights as to how children experience and respond to early adversity, and appropriate roles for caregivers. . .
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