Childhood vs Adulthood Essay

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Contrary to popular belief, we do not inherit our personalities. Instead, we develop certain traits and personality characteristics as a result of the experiences we have in life. Incidents, particularly traumatic ones, which occur during childhood can absolutely influence the rest of our lives. That is not to say that one cannot overcome such obstacles, but they will always have a lasting effect. One might argue that your adulthood is just an extension of your childhood experiences.

As neuroscience minors, we learn time and time again that a person will try to fulfill his childhood desires when he becomes an adult in a way that is acceptable to society and his/her culture. In addition, we learn that what we experience as a child, affects our quirks and personality as an adult. For example, a child raised by overprotective parents develops fears and insecurities because the child has been taught to perceive the world as an unsafe place. As an adult, they will continue to have the same fears and insecurities but might display them in a different way. This adult might now have social anxiety or have a hard time trusting co-workers, and it stems from their childhood insecurity of not trusting the world around them. One might not realize that a certain personality trait is just childhood insecurity being displayed in a different manner. Another example could be a child that is neglected or bullied. They develop extreme self-esteem issues throughout their life unless help or self-reflection is acquired.

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As a teacher, we learn during training that the type of emotional support that a child receives during the first five years of their lives has a tremendous effect on the child’s education and social life for the rest of their lives. In the classrooms, by age six you can begin to see the personalities of the children taking shape and can quickly point out which students have a more stable household. It is reflected in their demeanor, temperament, and school work. Again, this is not to say that the child cannot recover from it as an adult, but it certainly makes it very difficult to if that is the environment you experienced every day as a child. These are just small basic examples of how one's childhood might affect adulthood. The cases can get even worse with more traumatic childhood events.

There was a study done by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) called the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) study. More than 17,000 adults participated in the study and it was one of the first and largest research studies done to examine the impact of childhood trauma on health decades. Participants answered questions about their adverse childhood experiences including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse, and incarcerated household members. Their health and behaviors were also recorded.

One of the main takeaways was childhood trauma is very common, even among white, highly educated adults with health care. The study found that one in six men and one in four women reported childhood sexual abuse. These events were rarely reported as having been single events.

Both groups experienced similar risks for health outcomes like alcohol abuse and depression. The research showed that childhood trauma increased the risk of alcohol use by age fourteen and illicit drug use by age fifteen. Childhood trauma also contributed to the likelihood of adolescent pregnancies and adolescent suicide attempts. The study also found childhood incidences to be associated with multiple adverse outcomes in adulthood, such as cardiovascular disease, liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, suicide attempts, alcohol dependence, marital problems, intravenous drug use, and many more.

We live our childhoods and think that they don’t affect us as adults because oftentimes those traumas are displaced and appear in other ways. It invades and impedes multiple areas. It affects those around us such as our spouses and children. Not only do childhood incidents affect our personalities as adults, but they also affect our health and mental state.

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Childhood vs Adulthood Essay. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
“Childhood vs Adulthood Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
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