BLUF

This article discusses the link between childhood trauma and anger and mental and physical health problems in adulthood.

Summary

In this article, Bernard Golden discusses the Cumulative research showing that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can influence cognitive and emotional development and lead to anger in adulthood. Golden says research into ACEs began in earnest in 1995 when researchers assessed more than 17,000 people. The participants were asked about their childhood exposure to such things as:
  • Neglect
  • Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse.
  • Household dysfunction.
  • Violence. 
The researchers found ACEs was associated with a predisposition to engage in high-risk behaviours in adulthood plus physical and mental health problems. Since then, numerous studies have found a correlation—not causality—between ACEs and anger. Golden says recent research has concluded that childhood trauma was associated with expressions of anger in adulthood. Interestingly, Golden says magnetic resonance imaging of adults with a history of ACEs shows smaller hippocampus and amygdala volumes—the parts of the brain involved in our fight-flight-freeze response.