Under 30: How childhood affects our adult life

By | April 23, 2021

“IT’S ALL FROM CHILDHOOD” is a common phrase to explain a variety of things. Childhood really affects life much more than we realize . Scientists have found that even DNA can change at this time, affecting what diseases and when a person will develop in adulthood. The study, which involved five hundred Filipinos, followed from birth to twenty-one, showed that certain situations and factors from childhood can lead to the modification of genes associated with inflammation. We figure out which things are really laid down in childhood, and which ones come with age.

Mental and physical health

It is widely believed that many of the mental health problems that a person encounters in adulthood are associated with events from childhood. Numerous studies on the topic show that this is indeed the case.

It is proved, for example, that men with pathological addictions often have a history of childhood trauma, including physical violence or violence in the family, and the girl with a childhood trauma with more likely to smoke when they grow up. Severe stress in childhood – due to changes in the activity of mast cells in the brain – increases a person’s propensity for depression in the future. And watching TV for two or more hours a day for children between the ages of two and five can provoke behavioral and social difficulties .

In addition, one study after another confirms that there is a close connection between the body and the psyche. For example, scientists have shown that traumatic childhood events increase the risk of early death (and the more there are, the higher this risk). And the incidence of infectious diseases in childhood was associated with the risk of mental disorders. New research suggests that the negative impact on the mental health of children can have and the impact of exhaust gases. In fact while the air pollution in general is almost certain to provoke anxiety in children and adolescents.

Good news? Scientists agree that interaction with nature in childhood can improve the situation. And if you consider that communication with livestock also strengthens the child’s natural immunity, the bonuses of a summer vacation with a grandmother in the village will be undeniable.

Games children play

Incredible, but true: if we talk about the development of the child’s brain, the time spent at the lessons may be less important than the time spent on the playground near the house. Research shows that the experience of play alters connections between neurons in areas of the brain responsible for social interaction and social skills, which, in turn, at least partially determine a child’s academic performance as they grow up.

Working mom is a happy child

A 2015 study from Harvard Business School found that daughters of working mothers are more likely to achieve better careers and qualify for higher wages, while their sons do more household chores and care more for family members when they grow up. And additional research on the same topic made it possible to assert that, as a result, children of working mothers are no less happy, on average, than children of non-working mothers.

There is whether the “Mozart effect”

Everyone has heard at least something that if you play Mozart’s music to babies or unborn children, they will grow up to be smart people. The idea has become incredibly popular among parents after the publication in the journal Nature in 1993 confirming the “Mozart effect” study . Moreover, in 1998 the governor of Georgia asked for a budget for CDs of Mozart’s music to be given to young parents.

But the problem with the original study was that in him not only not used the term “Mozart effect” (oops!), But the experiments were carried out at all not on the children, and to students in the amount of 36 people. A meta-analysis of 16 studies at once on the topic, conducted in 1999, showed that although Mozart’s music improves a person’s ability to mentally manipulate, this effect is short-lived and it certainly does not make us smarter. An even larger analysis, published in 2010, showed that music in general can have a small positive effect in terms of improving productivity, but this does not apply to just Mozart or just classical works.

Bilingualism – good or not very

Scientists at Cornell University say learning a second language does not cause language confusion, developmental delay, or cognitive impairment. Moreover, children who speak two languages ​​retain attention better under the influence of external stimuli than children who know only one language.

Something about birth order theory

Studies suggest that the first-born may be the best thinking skills compared to younger brothers and sisters. But it’s not about genetics. This, scientists are sure , is explained by the fact that with an equal degree of emotional attachment to children, parents support the first child more in tasks that develop cognitive abilities. While there is not complete without the drawbacks: it is the first-born on 20% more likely to suffer from myopia.

As for the theory of birth order, launched in the beginning of XX century by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler , then its modern science offers to get round. Studies show convincingly that personality traits of a child are not influenced by the fact that he was in the family “oldest”, “average” or “youngest”.

Only child syndrome

Early studies showed that the only children in the family, as a rule, are supposedly “spoiled” and “hypersensitive”, but in later works on the topic it was found that their only difference from peers who grow up with brothers and / or sisters is stronger bond with parents. And perhaps more narcissistic behavior, although this remains to be verified.

However, if the version of narcissism is correct, then the only children will have something to cover. Modern science has been able to prove that children without siblings have a greater volume of gray matter in certain areas of the brain, which makes their thinking more flexible and creative. Although , in fairness, this does not affect intelligence in any way .

Why kids (and puppies) are so cute

Many people think that small children are adorable: small nose and chin, big cheeks and eyes. Studies show that as a parent, and have neroditeley babies often cause a reaction that can not be controlled in areas of the brain associated with reward. This leads to the increased attention that babies need to survive. And also – to the ” nice little aggression ” that we usually experience in relation to baby animals.

Why do human babies grow so slowly?

Trying to figure out why children are growing much more slowly than the cubs mammals, and longer depend on the parents, scientists from Northwestern University in Evanston, came to the conclusion that the whole thing in the resources and energy needed for the development of complex human brain. The body’s growth is pushed into the background by the body , while the brain grows and develops at an incredible rate.

Where does so much energy come from in children?

It was would be nice if would something like that were capable of adults (especially on Friday), but it is the children can jump and run around the clock, making a very short breaks. And here’s the harsh truth: Children’s endurance can compete with that of professional athletes, while their muscle tissue regenerates even faster. In addition, the muscles in the child’s body tire more slowly , which is generally surprising, since children have shorter limbs, so they have to spend more energy when walking and running.

Experiments have shown that it is a matter of using aerobic ( oxygen- dependent ) energy pathways, which produce energy more slowly, but it lasts longer. Well, adults at this time – and especially when they need to quickly do something – rely mainly on anaerobic ( oxygen- independent ) energy pathways, which provide a powerful charge of energy, but it is consumed quite quickly.

How Childhood Amnesia Works

Do most people have no memories of the first three or four years of life – and that’s fine. The phenomenon, also known as ” childhood amnesia “, takes psychologists for decades, but it is not yet possible to find out completely why it does occur . But this is not about the inability of children at this age to form long-term memories – in one experiment, six-month-olds for several weeks remembered how to operate a toy train with a lever (which they were taught only once).

The most popular theory to date is that, since the reference point of memories shifts with age (adults can remember themselves from the age of six or seven), the problem is not the formation of memories, but their preservation. In science there is reason to assume that memories affect and language acquisition. If, at the moment of what is happening, a child can tell about an event, the likelihood that he will remember it years later increases significantly. By the way, most of our childhood memories are fictional . If they are positive, though, it may help maintain self-esteem.

When we grow up on the fact

Tests that offer to determine psychological age can lie. But scientists do not have this habit , so if they say that we grow up later than commonly believed, then we are. The fact that adolescents should be considered the age from ten to twenty-four years old, scientists started talking back in 2018, citing a longer education and delayed marriage and parenting, which are characteristic of modern young people.

Now we are not talking about a strict classification, but about the time when a person finally becomes an adult. And the latest data looks extremely encouraging: scientists from the University of Cambridge say that changes in the brain occur over three decades, so that we grow up somewhere in the region of thirty years. Not so bad, right?

Why time passes faster with age

It turns out that the fact that in childhood three months of summer lasted endlessly, and today they fly by in an instant, our brain is to blame. Namely , the rate of reception and processing of incoming information, decreasing as the body ages , was found by scientists from Duke University. As neurons grow in size over time and connections in the brain become more complex, this leads to longer signal paths. In addition, the paths themselves also age, so the signals have to cope with more resistance. As a result, an adult looks at fewer images per day than a teenager, so it seems to him that the day has passed “somehow too quickly.”

Computer games and aggression

Despite the fact that addiction to video games was introduced into the ICD-11, the pernicious effect of computer games on children and adolescents is greatly exaggerated. Although with regard to computer “shooters”, then they seem , and though some may change the behavior of children in contact with the weapon. On the other hand, experts urge parents to stop blaming computers and mobile devices for all sins , reminding that, firstly, social networks can be useful , and secondly, if something increases the risk of actions dangerous to society using weapons is domestic violence (a 2018 analysis showed that this occurred in 54% of mass shootings in the United States).

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