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Transcripts of Selected Group Discussions on CYC-Net

Since it's founding in 1997, the CYC-Net discussion group has been asked thousands of questions. These questions often generate many replies from people in all spheres of the Child and Youth Care profession and contain personal experiences, viewpoints, as well as recommended resources.

Below are some of the threads of discussions on varying Child and Youth Care related topics.

Questions and Responses have been reproduced verbatim.

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Impact of violence on child development?

Hi there,

I am wondering if others in the CYC-Net discussion group can help answer the following question for our group in Child and Youth Care 205 – Applying Change Theories in Child and Youth Care Practice at the University of Victoria?

Here is our question:

What are the greatest complications in a child's emotional and cognitive development where violence has been present in their home?

Thank you,

Jana Schulz

Hi Jana,

The areas I see emotionally and cognitively impacted by violence in the home are trust, confidence and self sabotage. Not being able to form a trusting relationship with others/self impacts ones willingness/confidence to try. If one does try they choose to fail on their terms during the process.

Be well.


Safety has been compromised.

Peter Hoag

Hello Jana,

The most prevalent psychological impact of violence in the home on children is PTSD, externalizing problems especially related to peer relations (aggressiveness, hyperactivity, conduct problems more so in boys) internalizing problems (particularly with girls but affecting both boys and girls), school problems (truancy, poor peer relations), low self esteem and multiple others.

Some good resources: (a review) (a book) (a book – children's perspectives)

Hope this helps,

Delphine Amer

Please see the link to an article by Stephen Porges. His body of work explains the Polyvagal Theory and how trauma and high risk environments, including violence affects our nervous system.

I recommend looking at the Childhood Trauma Academy, Bruce Perry’s work for a detailed answer to your question.



Hi everyone,

Dr. Ungar, referenced below, is the Scientific Director of the CYCC Network. You can check out reports, including one on best practices for supporting young people exposed to violence, at the following link:


Hi Everyone,

Here is another resource that you might find useful:

This is a link to a special issue on the topic that can be downloaded and shared.

If I can be of any help locally, just let me know.



I would also check into

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) studies. Extensive and in depth research on impacts.

Michael Ungar's work for a Canadian perspective.

You also may want to contextualize your research and look at systemic issues that lead to inter-generational trauma and have roots in racist policies towards FN/M/I peoples. Locating adverse impacts just in the family can lead one to mislabel the source, roots and ultimately the solutions.

Rick Kelly

This is an area that Martin Teacher out of Harvard researches this extensively. He has several published articles. Here is a link to an older posting’t_Heal__The_Neurobiology_of_Child_Abuse/

The Trauma Centre at JRI (founded by Bessel van der Kolk) also has a wealth of resources on the topic posted on their website with the majority of recent research emphasizing the detrimental impact neurologically of psychological and emotional abuse.

They truly have a wealth of research in relation to trauma and are holistic in their approach.

I hope this helps!

Lori Gill

There is a plethora of research available on this subject.


Hi Jana,

This is a fairly well researched topic in the psychology literature. Two significant longitudinal pieces to consider at the ACE study of Filletti et al and the Minnesota Long term study into risk and adaptation

I also include the two publications below since they include Canadian authors

Daniels J, Frewen P, McKinnon M, Lanius R. Default mode alterations in PTSD related to early life trauma: a developmental perspective. J Psychiatry Neurosci (Epub ahead of print Nov 1, 2010) -written by Canadian clinicians this has implications for working with children of all ages in a non pathologizing context. There is a discussion in this book on the outcomes of adverse experience which range from neurological, emotional and cognitive, and beyond.

Happy reviewing,


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