I was reading an article entitled, ‘Positive Childhood Experiences May Buffer Against Health Effects Of Adverse Ones’, which looked at a study of whether positive childhood experiences can balance out negative ones when it comes to health outcomes related to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study. As it turns out, the data shows that those positive experiences can have a significant impact.
The study “found that having higher counts of those positive experiences was associated with 72% lower odds of having depression or poor mental health overall as an adult. We also found that those with higher levels of positive experiences were over 3 1/2 times more likely to have all the social and emotional support they needed as an adult.”
What this study tells us is that every interaction matters. Many caregivers work in settings where they have little influence or knowledge of what may be happening in the other environments of individuals served, but even when there are negative experiences in those other environments, having positive ones in our service settings can help mitigate the negative effects.
As staff work at conflict prevention, it is important to do it in ways the avoid re-traumatization to people served and their coworkers. By doing this, they are creating a safer workplace for others and themselves.
In the new 2.0 version of The Mandt System, we have added information to help staff understand that developing and maintaining healthy relationships requires more positive than negative interactions. That is why the program focuses on positive behavior support approaches where dignity and respect are present and focus on building people up instead of tearing people down so that people can say “In this place and with these people, I feel safe.”
Here are links to the article and the study if you’re interested in reading further.
Doug ZehrVogt, Mandt System Faculty