More than 2,000 immigrant children have been detained at the southern border of the United States recently. This is because of the irrelevant immigration policy that regards immigrants who cross the border illegally as criminals.
Even a young child, one year old, was detained, awaiting further action. This policy, which ignores the emotional and mental well-being of a child, is an object of international criticism, and problems are being raised accordingly.
According to Ian H. Gottlieb, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, the break with family is already suffering from hometown and additional trauma to young children who have gone through a long and rough journey to the United States.
Especially, it is not possible to predict what will happen to the family even after meeting with the family again, and there is concern that the existing feelings of suffering, fear, despair, and depression may deteriorate. This can also lead to distortion of life skills.
Professor Gottlieb has found through research that early stress in life has a significant impact on depression and suicidal ideation. We also studied how this stress affects brain development and treatment of depression and preventive measures for depression in children.
Psychological Impact of Parent-Child Separation
"If a child falls out of his / her parents, it can cause mental trauma," Gottlieb said.
Numerous studies have shown that the emotional happiness of a child can vary from parent to child. Parental support and care are important factors in the healthy development of your child. Parents can help control their children's emotions and protect their children from psychological problems caused by unavoidable events.
So if you leave your child away from your parents, it's like removing this protection mechanism. As a result, the pain can not be imagined. Surveys of children who are accustomed to care facilities have shown that separation from their parents deters normal development and has negative long-term consequences for mental and psychological well-being.
Gottlieb's team found that children who were exposed to childhood painful experiences negatively affect behavioral and biological development.
Long-term effects of exposure to psychological stress situations in childhood
Professor Gottlieb said: "Childhood stress is related to behavioral problems in children with psychopathology and psychological symptoms and physical disabilities." This results in immediate and long-term consequences. Especially when they are separated from their parents for a long time, the stress can become serious and accumulate. "
If your child is exposed to stressful conditions that cause mental trauma, the body releases cortisol, a stress hormone. Higher cortisol levels negatively affect the brain, inhibiting neuronal growth and reducing brain hippocampal size.
It also affects the brain structure that effectively controls emotions, leading to depression and anxiety, which manifests itself as behavior.
Mitigating Child's Stress Impact
Professor Gottlieb said, "Returning parents and their children to their parents immediately helps relieve the stress." The healing process must be sustained and the safety of parents should be ensured. "
Psychological influence of off-parent children
Coercionally separating a child from his / her parents has a profound psychological impact. The negative emotions hinder the child's ability to live. Children try to recover, but become very vulnerable to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. In addition, parental anxiety about uncertain surroundings is heightened.
These children can exhibit depressive symptoms and express problematic behaviors. Emotional control becomes weaker, which is again a stressor. That is, the vicious circle is repeated.
Therefore, it is imperative to introduce a system that can put everything back in place, and it should be returned to parents' products for the happiness of children.