Early childhood experiences have lasting emotional and psychological effects
Theme issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine highlights dangers during early development, interventions to improve long-term health
AURORA, Colo. (May 3, 2010) – Experiences between birth and age five matter significantly to children’s long-term emotional and psychological health, and changing these experiences for the better pays dividends, according to an editorial and several new reports in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Articles featured in the issue include the following:
Home Visits by Nurses Benefit Mothers, Children Through Age 12
Home visits by nurses during pregnancy and the child’s infancy appear to improve mothers’ life course, reduce some behavior problems in children and decrease government spending in aid programs through age 12, according to two reports in the theme issue.
In one paper, David L. Olds, PhD, University of Colorado School of Medicine professor, and colleagues assessed partner relationships, fertility, economic self-sufficiency and government spending among the mothers in the study. By the time the child was age 12, nurse-visited mothers as compared with control mothers reported less role impairment due to substance use (0 percent vs. 2.5 percent), longer partner relationships (59.6 months vs. 52.6 months) and a greater sense of mastery.
During the 12-year period, the government spent less through aid programs on nurse-visited families ($8,772 vs. $9,797); this represents $12,300 in discounted savings compared with the program cost of $11,511.
“In general, these findings support the effectiveness of the Nurse-Family Partnership,” the program providing the nurse visits, the authors write. “The partnership offers a means of reducing government spending and family poverty, improving children’s health and development and grounding policy based on the results of replicated randomized controlled trials.”
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About the University of Colorado School of Medicine
Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the University of Colorado School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies. The School is located on the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. For additional news and information, please visit the CU Denver newsroom online.