Home > Issue 1 ( Volume 16 ) > Adverse childhood experiences and the nurse’s role in prevention – literature review
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Introduction: Adverse childhood experiences refer to traumatic events that a child may experience from birth to adulthood, such as abuse, physical or emotional neglect, and general family dysfunction (parental imprisonment, parental mental illness, poverty, etc.). Research demonstrates that the accumulation of toxic stress from the above mentioned experiences and situations associated with various unhealthy behaviors and the manifestation of chronic health problems later adulthood.

Purpose: To highlight the nurses’ role in preventing the phenomenon of Childhood Adversities.

Methodology: This literature review included peer-reviewed articles and research papers published in English during the past five years with reference to Childhood Adversity found in databases such as Pubmed, Scopus and ScienceDirect.

Results: According to epidemiological data, the risk is not insignificant and negatively affects the development of children in their later life, as they become burdened both mentally and physically as adults. However, Childhood Adversities, cause epigenetic changes in genes, by affecting brain function and acting as biological markers in descendants.

Conclusions: To break this vicious cycle, primary health care as well as other health care settings can help build resilient families and children. In this way, preventing the phenomenon, potential health problems are reduced and health is improved. Thus, the nurse’s role regarding timely detection and management of Adversities experienced by children and families can have a profound effect on the prevention of Childhood Adversities’.

Key words: prevention, adverse childhood experiences

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