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

Top Stories

Healthy Mind Matters

Parent Kristen Pexton said the SHARP survey gave an insight into what's happening with her teenager...
Mike Anderson

How helpful is Utah’s SHARP survey? Parents have just days to give input

Utah parents have one more week to give their feedback on the State Board of Education's decision to pull its support for the Student Health and Risk Prevention survey, otherwise known as SHARP.
2 months ago
...
Jed Boal

Love Hard Foundation making positive difference in Utah teens’ mental health

The Love Hard Foundation was started in January to make a positive difference in the mental and emotional health of Utah teens. Each week, the nonprofit is getting more involved in schools and communities.
3 months ago
Carla Jones, center, was joined by her daughter and a friend at the Out of the Darkness Walk in Wes...
Debbie Worthen

‘We miss her’: Annual Out of the Darkness Walk helps raise awareness of suicide

A crowd of thousands, and nearly $250,000 raised — all for the fight against suicide at the annual Out of the Darkness Walk in West Jordan Saturday morning
3 months ago
...
Ashley Moser

New nationwide 988 suicide and crisis hotline sees success in Utah

The new three-digit hotline has seen a 35% increase in calls from the old 10-digit number year-to-year.
3 months ago
Dana Clemmer shares photos of her daughter Talyn with KSL's Ayanna Likens. (KSL TV)...
Ayanna Likens

Life’s Worth Living Foundation supports those struggling with mental health and loss survivors

TOOELE, Utah — The Life’s Worth Living Foundation in Tooele has provided support for those struggling with their mental health and supporting them through the grief of losing a loved one. The foundation supported Deborah Bush after losing her son Jayden to suicide in January of 2021. “It’s definitely not easy,” Bush said. Jayden was […]
3 months ago
Intermountain healthcare launched a new mental health resource that will visit children and teens i...
Ayanna Likens

A new free mental health resource in Utah will visit children in their moment of crisis

Intermountain Healthcare launched a new mental health resource for children and teens. The Stabilization Mobile Response unit (SMR) is designed to go to your home in a discreet way to help your child in crisis. The service is free.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
BYU Studies Show Impact Of Stress Before Age 5