The ghost in the nursery: how adversity can harm children

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No Child 2020: Adverse childhood experiences are linked to physical and mental health problems

  • Peter McGuire
  • The Irish Times
“My father kept breaking the barring orders,” says Karen.
“He’d show up at the house, the Garda would be called and he would be arrested. Mam was always extremely distressed so, instead of us feeling protected, we tried to protect her.”

Karen’s mother, Mary, had a hellish upbringing.

Her paternal grandparents were unemployed alcoholics who physically abused their children and each other.

Her maternal grandfather abandoned his family, and…

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