University of Georgia

Early-life stress, especially in war, can have consequences across multiple generations

Early-life stress, especially in war, can have consequences across multiple generations

The wartime evacuation of Finnish children more than 70 years ago might have been an historical footnote, its cost to human health and happiness lost in the passage of time. More than 70,000 Finnish children were separated from their parents in a frantic rout and whisked away to institutions and foster families in Sweden and Denmark.

The aim of this mass migration of unaccompanied children was to shield them from harm, as Finland had become a battleground for clashing Soviet and German forces. But studies by an international group of experts in child development have found that its effect was not wholly protective.

The abrupt separation from home, parents and familiar routines...

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