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Does Childhood Trauma Live in the Body Forever?

Photo by Michael Winokur.
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Moderated by Carol S. Larson, President and CEO, David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Where do we find answers to the world’s growing plagues of chronic illnesses—from diabetes to depression? In childhood. Surveys and research show a connection between ill health in adults and adversity in childhood—divorce, substance abuse, neglect, and various other forms of emotional and physical abuse. And research shows that high stress levels during childhood change our neural systems in ways that can last a lifetime. What is the nature of the connections between childhood stress and health? How can we better assist unhealthy adults whose problems are rooted in childhood trauma? And how can we make children more resilient? Nadine Burke Harris, pediatrician, founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness, and author of The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity, visits Zócalo to examine the newest thinking on how people can overcome childhood trauma—and avoid its long-term ill effects.