The long-lasting health effects of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border
Researchers have long looked upon wars, famines and mass migrations as grim but important opportunities to understand how adversity affects children’s health.
They’ve culled the experiences of orphans warehoused in government facilities, Jewish children dispatched to foreign families ahead of a Nazi invasion, and young refugees fleeing guerrilla warfare in Central America. They’ve conducted experiments in child development labs, taken brain scans, used epidemiological methods, examined the narratives of children torn from their parents — all in an effort to find meaning in tragedy.
Their trove of findings points to one unmistakable conclusion: Separating kids from their parents is detrimental to their physical and mental health.