Exposure to Violence Alters Children’s DNA, Life-Long Health

Kermit Cole

In a sample of 236 children recruited from the Environmental-Risk Longitudinal Twin Study, researchers from Duke University and King’s College London found that children who had experienced two or more kinds of violence exposure showed significantly more telomere erosion between the age-5 baseline and age-10 follow-up. Telomere erosion is a putative link between stress and cullular aging, a mechanism for long-term impact on disease and mortality.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]


  1. I think this article is only presenting a part-truth. That is violence and stress shorten telomere. It’s the same old blame it on on what we’re researching game;that is one thing. In my opinion it’s more complex than that. Have they excluded other factors shoterning telomere? Such as any childhood diseases, environmental toxins, electronics in the environment, dietary considerations, malnutrition, iatrogenic considerations, vaccines, and any others I missed? Radiation from the environment, so on. If they have not considered these, and tested telomere shotening in a matching cohort, then the study may not have much merit. Thats how I see it.

  2. This will just be more justification to use evil eguenics lies of bad brains, damaged genes to justify the usual fraud diagnoses to push lethal poison drugs, ECT and whatever other tortures psychiatry can dream up to earn big profits from the suffering they inflict on others in the guise of medicine.