SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch - Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Bullying Can Damage A Child's Brain

When exposed to toxic levels of stress a build up of cortisol it can impact how neuropathways are constructed in a child's brain.

Posted: Feb 13, 2017 1:02 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2017 7:16 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore., -- Research shows peer bullying can be as damaging to a child as parental verbal abuse. Dr. Martin Teicher has studied the how a child's brain changes when that child is exposed to verbal abuse. According to his published research chronic verbal abuse, like bullying, can lead to an increased risk of psychiatric symptoms and abnormalities in parts of the brain which are still developing in school aged children. Dr. Teicher's research echos that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC teamed up with Kaiser Permanente nearly 20 years ago. Ultimately the findings of that study, and subsequent studies, allowed researchers, doctors, and child advocates to learn more about how detrimental Adverse Childhood Effects or ACEs can be to a developing brain. The original study, done between 1995 - 1997 "is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and later-life health and well-being," according to the CDC. Questions asked of more than 17,000 participants showed a relationship between adverse childhood effects and negative consequences in emotional, social, and physical health in adulthood. 

As the CEO at Kairos, Bob Lieberman has spent many hours learning about ACEs and how to prevent and counter the impact on children. According to Lieberman, young children do not have the coping mechanisms to deal with toxic stress. Lieberman explained that there are several kinds of toxic stress children are exposed to such as poverty in the home; physical abuse between parents; physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by a parent to a child, divorce, exposure to addictive behaviors and even chronic bullying at school. When humans are stressed we release a hormone called cortisol. Lieberman says when exposed to toxic levels of stress a build up of cortisol it can impact how neuropathways are constructed in our brains. Since we create more neuropathways during childhood it is easy to see, even on an MRI how the brain is impacted by ACEs. 

Over the last 20 years research has shown the higher the number on an ACEs quiz the higher the risk for negative consequences in your emotional, social, and physical health. The correlation is so strong, Lieberman says, that the CDC has named ACEs as the leading determinant to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The impacts in adulthood all link back to the lack of development and damage done to the brain during childhood. Lieberman cautions that a high ACEs score does not mean a person is destined to get divorced, suffer from depression, or die of heart attack in middle age. He points out there are people who score an 8 out of 10 and still lead productive healthy lives. The key, according to Lieberman is resiliency. Those with a high ACEs score but few negative consequences have almost always had a positive and powerful sense of attachment and belonging. This can come in many forms through the community, cultural experiences, or spiritual beliefs. 

Finding your ACEs score is as easy as taking a ten question quiz. There are no questions about bullying, but Lieberman says it still applies. He explains that the questions have proved to be stand-ins for all kinds of adversity in childhood. The questions fall into three categories: abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31865

Reported Deaths: 539
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7022136
Marion456992
Washington441759
Umatilla293941
Clackamas234661
Malheur158926
Jackson11094
Lane109616
Deschutes79312
Yamhill75013
Jefferson5218
Polk51515
Linn49513
Morrow4946
Lincoln47613
Union4392
Benton2946
Klamath2792
Wasco2793
Hood River2490
Douglas2244
Josephine1952
Columbia1551
Coos1490
Clatsop1310
Baker922
Crook621
Tillamook510
Curry310
Lake290
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 799516

Reported Deaths: 15393
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2644146455
Riverside578831179
San Bernardino53359918
Orange526221182
San Diego45596773
Kern31712360
Fresno28019362
Sacramento21872399
Alameda20951397
Santa Clara20756304
San Joaquin20126437
Stanislaus16436345
Contra Costa16238204
Tulare15829259
Ventura12591146
Imperial11741317
San Francisco1094699
San Mateo9714144
Monterey970170
Santa Barbara8973113
Merced8828140
Kings756977
Sonoma7262120
Marin6641114
Solano627863
Madera445865
Placer353544
San Luis Obispo347929
Butte279043
Yolo278255
Santa Cruz22949
Sutter168911
Napa165313
San Benito132111
Yuba11367
El Dorado10884
Mendocino89418
Shasta75916
Lassen7360
Glenn5713
Tehama5334
Lake53011
Nevada5286
Colusa5246
Humboldt4967
Calaveras31414
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 58°
Brookings
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 58°
Crater Lake
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 60°
Grants Pass
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 51°
Klamath Falls
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 60°
Cool & damp into Saturday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Friday, September 25th Evening Weather

Image

First responders tell the Almeda Fire story

Image

Fire hydrants stopped pumping water during the Almeda Fire

Image

Jackson County Expo shelter remains, but resources move off-site

Image

Shawna Huggins of Phoenix

Image

Friday, September 25 afternoon weather

Image

Friday, September 25 morning weather

Image

Happy Camp Hero

Image

New multi-agency resource center opened in Medford

Image

Thursday, September 24th Evening Weather