70,000 Finnish children evacuated. Dit it hurt them?
A new article relating the present separating of children from parents who try to enter the USA, to what is known about such separation from earlier actions, in particular from the experiences of evacuating Finnish children to Sweden during the war.
What a study of evacuees tells us about the lifelong health effects of separating kids from their parents.
New York Times, 19 September 2018
"This research, which is ongoing, helps us understand the long-term consequences of another mass separation of children from their parents — the one orchestrated by the Trump administration.
More than 2,500 migrant children were taken from their parents and detained. Most have since been reunited, but 12,800 migrant children — a record, as we learned last week — remain in detention. Many are teenagers who crossed the border unaccompanied. In the past they typically would have been released in a timely fashion to sponsors — often parents or other family members who’d come here before them — but no longer."
"Previous studies already indicated that early-life trauma could increase the risk of psychiatric disorders. But the Finnish scientists were surprised to observe differences in chronic disease risk as well. Illness and death from heart disease were more common in the separated group. They had about twice the risk of heart disease and a 40 percent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. They had slightly higher blood pressure — particularly women."
"What biological mechanism might explain these differences? Animal studies indicate that chronic stress early in life can permanently reprogram the stress response, activate inflammatory pathways and increase vulnerability to various diseases. And Dr. Eriksson and his colleagues observed that, more than six decades after the war, those who had been evacuated still showed elevated baseline levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, compared to a control group."
Cf also the studies of
O. Agid, B. Shapira, J. Zislin, M. Ritsner, B. Hanin, H. Murad, T. Troudart, M. Bloch, U. Heresco-Levy og B. Lerer ved Department of Psychiatry, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem: "Environment and vulnerability to major psychiatric illness: a case control study of early parental loss in major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia". Molecular Psychiatry 1999 Mar; 4 (2): 163-72
K. S. Kendler, K. Sheth, C. O. Gardner og C. A. Prescott: "Childhood parental loss and risk for first-onset of major depression and alcohol dependence; the time decay of risk and sex differences". Psychological Medicine 2002, 32, 1187-1194. Cambridge University Press
J. R. Jacobs og G. B. Bovasso: "Early and chronic stress and their relation to breast cancer". Psychological Medicine, 2000, 669-678
L. J. Luecken: "Childhood attachment and loss experiences affect adult cardiovascular and cortisol function". Psychosomatic Medicine, 1998, 60, 765-772
and other references here:
15 February 2006
as well as
Mark V. Flinn & Barry G. England:
Current Anthropogy 36, 5, December 1995