Childhood trauma is tough on Baboons
Imagine being neglected or bullied and imagine how a young person would feel. Now think about how a poor monkey would feel if it happened to him.
People who experience abuse or neglect during childhood are more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems later in life, even after the stressful events have passed.Now, a new study suggests that wild baboons that experience multiple misfortunes during the first years of life, such as drought or the loss of their mother, grow up to live much shorter adult lives. Their life expectancy is cut short by up to ten years compared with their more fortunate peers.The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, are important because they show that early adversity can have long-term negative effects on survival even in the absence of factors commonly evoked to explain similar patterns in humans, such as differences in smoking, drinking, or medical care, says Jenny Tung, assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology and biology at Duke University.