Monica Williams-Farrelly, PhD, describes how positive social relationship can mitigate frailty in later life for those with adverse childhood experiences.
There’s a lot of research out there that childhood experiences can influence later life health. This study in particular shows that social relationships play a role in that relationship. Noxious childhood exposures can lead to lower levels of social support and social relationships, which can then lead to lower levels of physical health in later life or higher likelihood of physical frailty.
Dr. Williams-Farrelly says parents can help counteract the poor health outcomes of negative childhood experiences.
This research shows, “Hey, if you experience some kind of unfortunate things in childhood, it’s still going to influence you in later life.” But the good note here is that if you do, through all of those experiences in childhood, still manage to cultivate good, supportive, strong social relationships, that can kind of help reduce that relationship. So parents can know, “Hey, if you play a supportive role in your child’s life, and you help them cultivate good social skills and relationships, that that should help to kind of reduce the effects that negative childhood exposures can have on your health in later life.”