Separation of families at border has detrimental effects on chil

Separation of families at border has detrimental effects on children

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Images of young children in tears, housed in steel cages flood social media and the cable news networks. There's merit to it. Scientific research indicates the trauma of separating families at the border could last a lifetime.

Ann Mastergeorge is chair of the Human Development and Family Studies Department at Texas Tech. She has been conducting research for over 20 years related to the separation of children from families. She said it can cause detrimental effects. 

"We know from science that very young children, their development hinges is so important to be connected to parents," said Mastergeorge. "So it's what we call early care giver responsiveness." 

The youngest of children suffer the most. The effects of separation from their parents can be long-lasting.

"There bodies release stress hormones, their heart rate goes up," said Mastergeorge. "These stress hormones cause the death of dendrites in the brain and then eventually neurons in the brain it has severe consequences for the brain architecture." 

There are several levels of neglect. The one children are experiencing at the border being separated from their family is considered a severe form because of the living conditions in these detention facilities. According to professor Mastergeorge, parents also face forms of post-traumatic stress from the separation, which could lead to depression and physical symptoms from stress.

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