Family and Community Engagement Shows Positive Effect On Children’s Mental and Psychological Health

Looking after kids is not an easy task, especially if we want them to be on the right track when they grow up. We, as parents, jus wanted to give a better life for our children. However, in any case the stroke of luck turns against us, it will definitely impact our kids as they grow up. This was backed up by the results of a recent Rutgers University-Camden study.

According to the study, more than half of the adolescents nationwide experienced at least one traumatic experience during their childhood. This incident made those who are affected more susceptible to stress and are more anxious in their surroundings.

How Our Family Impacts Our Kids’ Mental Health

The research points out that family behaviors greatly affect the mental state of our kids. Talking together as a family or working together on a specific task shows positive mental results. Kids who are exposed early in civic engagement such as community service and club activities help minimize the potential damage from those unwanted traumatic experiences in the past.

Children that grew up and experienced any unfortunate events such as poverty, divorces, family members’ death, domestic abuse, racism, and drug abuse is susceptible to depression when they reach their adolescent stage. Aside from depression, these kids are also at risk to other forms of mental and physiological health issues such as insecurities and others.

Their research was based on the information they have gathered from 21,000 parents and kids with the age range of 12 to 17. Their focus is to understand the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences and their mental health status.

According to Wenhua Lu, the co-author of the study, “Early assessment and interventions for children with Adverse Childhood Experiences are necessary to prevent the development of mental disorders in adolescence, especially for minority adolescents and those of low socioeconomic status.” Dr. Lu added that “Safe, nurturing, and supportive home and social environments can help mitigate the detrimental impact of childhood adversity.”

What Can We Do To Our Kids?

Knowing what type of environment these kids grew up is essential. This points directly on how their parents and family interact within their neighborhood, and how well their family co-existed with their community.

The study shows that an individual that experienced a traumatic past is less likely to have any form of mental disorder if their family is more engaged in their community. Civic works such as church, clubs school, and even non-school related activities will help mend the wound of the past.

Showing the overall impression of the study, it suggests that “the strong mediating effect of family functioning identified in this study provides critical insights as to strategies that can be incorporated into existing family support programs to reduce the risk of negative adolescent mental health outcomes associated with ACEs.”

The most important thing that we need to take in mind when preventing any unwanted mental and psychological issues, not only with our kids but as well as our family as a whole would be the communication between each other. A strong and cohesive family will have a direct positive impact on their children. Pair this with a functioning family in our local community, we can help our kids that are suffering from depression and other behavioral challenges.