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Recent findings from the University of Oregon, USA, have discovered that children’s behaviour can be directly linked to their mother’s early trauma. This may also be the case with children who were not raised by their biological parents and were adopted at birth, and adoptees, whose birth-mother experienced a traumatic childhood. The research team, led by Leslie Leve, a professor in the UO College of Education, and a scientist with the Prevention Science Institute, found a link between birth mothers who had experienced stressful childhood events, “We can’t always prevent bad things from happening to young children…but we can provide behavioural health supports to individuals who have been exposed to childhood trauma or neglect”. Considered to be the only study of its kind, over 500 adopted children and their families were tracked for ten years. Many of the birth mothers had significant adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, violence or poverty. In turn, their children often showed signs of ‘effortful control’ at age 7 and ‘externalising behaviour’ at age 11. More information on the study can be found here.

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