Clearly, everything is your mom’s fault. Damn you, Mom!
Traumatic experiences in early life can leave emotional scars. But a new study suggests that violence in childhood may leave a genetic mark as well. Researchers have found that children who are physically abused and bullied tend to have shorter telomeres—structures at the tips of chromosomes whose shrinkage has been linked to aging and disease.
“Children who experience physical violence appear to be aging at a faster rate,” says neuroscientist and co-author Avshalom Caspi. As a result, he says, they may face increased risk of disease in adulthood and possibly shortened lifespan.
The more we research and understand stress, the more we learn about its complex nature and implications on our health, both mentally and physically. Expect a lot more of this research in the near future.