Ch 6 and 7: Early Life

In Chapter 6, they focused on the early life of children and how that affects their life-span. They found that breastfeeding helped early on with infant health but had little impact on long-term life. Additionally, starting school at an early age tended to create difficulties later in life while those who started later lived longer. Furthermore, their education did not guarantee longevity and long-term health. I found it very interesting to see that most of what doctors and new parents are most concerned about have little impact on their children’s lives in the long run. At the end of the chapter, they added that these patterns can be altered and improved. I found this contradictory. They said that education socially shaped us in ways that impact health. While one can outwardly change their attitudes and characteristics, they may always carry these traits with them. Thus, they will continue to be negatively affected by the consequences.

In Chapter 7, they focused solely on the impacts of divorce on a child. Surprisingly, coping with a death of a parent did not have a measurable impact on life span yet going through a parental divorce resulted in Termites dying five years earlier than expected. In fact, parental divorce during childhood was one of the single strongest social predictors of early onset death. Even so, the children were expected to follow in their parents’ footsteps and also get divorced. These are scary predictions for the future of children based solely on a relationship between separate people. The researchers even said that staying in a marriage in order to prevent these issues is not a good idea if “the family environment is a distressed and unhappy one.” This contradicted the previous chapter where the researchers claimed that patterns could be altered and improved. Not only will these kids die earlier, but their kids will as well as they are predicted to also get a divorce. While I agree that divorce has a lasting impact on children, I do not believe that it is abnormal to find a children that lives a long, happy life and also does not end their marriage with divorce.

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1 Response to Ch 6 and 7: Early Life

  1. Alexandra Maniglia says:


    I also think it is interesting that new parents seem to take greater action to improve their child’s health in the short run without thinking of what impact it might have in the long run. I mean I’m sure they think they are helping their child in the long run but they haven’t actually done the research to prove it. Additionally, I agree that it is possible for individuals from divorced families to go on and have successful marriages or at least marriages that do not end in divorce. I believe that this is possible because I think people always want to do better than their parents. I am interested to know if children whose parents were divorced and whose parent or parents died early make the children’s life span even shorter.

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