It goes without saying, or almost, that has had a difficult childhood is not the “nec-plus-ultra” for having good mental health afterward. But conversely, having a happy and fulfilling childhood does not always protect against the onset of mental illness in adulthood.
This is in any case what emerges from a new scientific study, conducted by an Australian research team and recently published in the journal Current Psychology.
Conducted among 343 people, the study examined the potential links between early childhood experiences, the individual’s developmental journey, and mental health.
The study reaffirmed that having lived a difficult childhood increased the risk of poor mental health in adulthood, with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and paranoia, in particular. But it also showed that children who grew up in stable environments conducive to good psychic development could also experience anxiety in adulthood, among other mental health problems.
“As the prevalence of mental health problems increases, it is imperative that we also expand our knowledge about this very complex and varied condition.” Commented Bianca Kahl, a researcher at the University of South Australia and first author of the study.
“This research shows that mental health issues are not determined solely by early childhood events, and that a child raised in a happy home could still develop a mental health disorder as they grow older. Factors are certainly missing to explain how our childhood environment and early childhood experiences can impact mental health in adulthood.”, Continued the researcher.
“We suspect that it is our expectations about our environments, and our ability to adapt to scenarios when our expectations are not being met that can influence our experiences of distress. If, as children, we learn to adapt to change and cope when things are going wrong, we may be in a better position to respond to stress and other risk factors for bad. Mental Health. Testing this hypothesis is the focus of our next research study”, Concluded Bianca Kahl.