The Physiological Effects of Growing up


High school students wandering around in the school cafeteria. (Photo taken by Sydney Curry)

Sydney Curry, Staff Writer

¨In psychology, we refer to it as the tribal mentality.¨

— Mr. Terrance Smith

It’s often said that our childhood experiences are the determining point of who we are as people. Whether it’s 10, 15, or 20 years from now and you’re way past the point of growing up, you still find yourself looking back and reflecting. 

¨I still look back at my childhood. What I learned growing up, I still use today. I look back at what my parents did a lot. It’s funny because I always said to myself ‘I would never do the things they did.’ I would do things completely differently, especially as a parent. But I’m more understanding of their decisions now as an adult.¨ said Jimmy’s Ice Cream co-business owner, Laurel Skalaban.

According to Chrysalis Courses, It is clear that our childhood experiences will have an effect on our adulthood; specifically, our early experiences will shape our belief about ourselves, others, and the world. 

People who have fond memories of childhood, specifically their relationships with their parents, tend to have better health, less depression, and fewer chronic illnesses as older adults, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

¨I find myself very fortunate for the childhood that I had. As much as I complained, I’m very thankful for my parents and the home I grew up in,¨ said Matt Jacobs; gym goer of M’OR Tennis Fitness, located in East Stroudsburg

According to The Conversation, A website dedicated to Physical and Mental health, decades of research show how negative childhood events such as abuse or neglect can have a huge impact on a person. Studies show it is linked to accelerated aging, chronic disease, and even premature death.

There is no rating chart that tells you who had the worst or best childhood experience. There is no denying the fact that growing up is such a fundamental stage in shaping who we are as people. Everyone has different experiences growing up. Some are better than others, some worse.

¨Growing up can be hard. It definitely helps that I have supportive parents, but I know people who don’t have the same and I also know that must be hard not being able to confide in them,¨ said Junior Cora Valentin. 

A huge role that comes into play is our parents. Who they are as people, and what they teach us. As soon as birth, we are constantly observing things, especially how our parents or guardians are interacting with the world.

We all come from different backgrounds. All different factors play into it. 

As kids, we often find ourselves complaining about our parents. Your mom may be strict, your dad may be laxer. Your parents may never be around or maybe they’re extremely overbearing. Everyone thrives in a caring, supportive environment. But it’s clear that not everyone has that support. 

Unfortunately, the world is not fair. There are kids that experience neglect, abuse, or in some cases, trauma. Some children grow up in poverty and don’t have the resources that every kid should. Because of all these factors, kids are experiencing all kinds of stress on a daily basis. This can lead to constant worrying that can severely impact a child’s learning development.

¨When my parents are fighting or I’m fighting with my parents; It definitely causes me stress.¨ said Valentin.

All these conflicted emotions intensify over time. According to the Conversation, data revealed that 25% of the survey respondents had experienced financial strain or conflict during their childhood. And how many more are not saying anything?

According to The New York Post, one in four people feels they don’t have someone to confide in. Even after sharing their feelings, 7 in 10 have held back how they really felt from a coworker, friend, or partner. 

What studies do not say is that no one has a perfect childhood. Whether you come from a good background or not, we all seek support and comfort. 

¨I know from personal experience how hard it can be to talk about my feelings. Itś not easy to speak up. Itś not easy to be vulnerable and honest about how you feel. Itś something that you just have to work on,¨ said Valentin

Don’t bottle up your feelings. Being a tough guy all the time can be a  lonely existence. You don’t have to face all this alone. Remember to speak up and share how you feel. You may surprise yourself with what you find.