Monday, October 22, 2012

Study on El Paso, Juárez children shows violence, poverty affect mental health

Collective violence attributed to organized crime and poverty is adversely affecting the mental health of children living near the U.S./Mexico border, according to an expert at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. The research by Marie Leiner, a research associate professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), was presented today at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans. "There is cumulative harm to the mental health of children from the combination of collective violence attributed to organized crime and poverty," Leiner said. "Untreated mental health problems predict violence, anti-social behaviors and delinquency, and this affects families, communities and individuals. It is crucial to address the mental health of children on the border to counteract the devastating effects this setting will have in the future." In the study, "Children's Mental Health and Collective Violence: A Bi-National Study on the United States/Mexican Border," researchers compared psychosocial and behavior scores among children and adolescents living in El Paso and Juárez in 2007 and 2010...more

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