Vulnerable Minds: The Harm of Childhood Trauma and the Hope of Resilience (Hardcover)

Vulnerable Minds: The Harm of Childhood Trauma and the Hope of Resilience By Marc D. Hauser Cover Image
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A new, hopeful pathway to understanding children’s trauma and providing effective interventions to build healthier communities

Each year at least a billion children around the world are victims of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that range from physical abuse to racial discrimination to neglect and food deprivation. The brain plasticity of our most vulnerable makes the adverse effects of trauma only that much more damaging to mental and physical development. Those dealt a hand of ACEs are more likely to drop out of school, have a shorter life, abuse substances, and suffer from myriad mental health and behavioral issues.
    The crucial question is: How do we intervene to offer these children a more hopeful future? Neurobiologist and educator Dr. Marc Hauser provides a novel, research-based framework to understand a child’s unique response to ACEs that goes beyond our current understanding and is centered around the five Ts—the timing during development when the trauma began, its type, tenure, toxicity, and how much turbulence it has caused in a child’s life. Using this lens, adults can start to help children build resilience and recover—and even benefit—from their adversity through targeted community and school interventions, emotional regulation tools, as well as a new frontier of therapies focused on direct brain stimulation, including neurofeedback and psychedelics.
    While human suffering experienced by children is the most devastating, it also presents the most promise for recovery; the plasticity of young people’s brains makes them vulnerable, but it also makes them apt to take back the joy, wonder, innocence, and curiosity of childhood when given the right support. Vulnerable Minds is a call to action for parents, policymakers, educators, and doctors to reclaim what’s been lost and commit ourselves to our collective responsibility to all children.

About the Author

Marc Hauser, PhD, is an educator, neuroscientist, and the founder of Risk Eraser, a program that helps at-risk kids lead healthier lives. He is a former professor of evolutionary biology and psychology at Harvard University and the author of over three hundred papers.

Praise For…

“Marc Hauser combines a keen eye for scientific data, a sensitivity to human suffering, and relevant personal experience to cut through the myths and ignorance. He offers both insight and actionable proposals for how we can understand an issue of profound human and social importance.”
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of How the Mind Works

“An important and profound book by a brilliant researcher. I strongly recommend it.”
— Johann Hari, New York Times bestselling author of Stolen Focus

“Hauser is not just a renowned scientist, he is an exceptionally accessible writer. Educators, parents, and policymakers will find this clear and compelling book an invaluable guide to understanding and protecting our most vulnerable children.”
Daniel Willingham, Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia, author of Why Don't Students Like School?

“Marc Hauser's Vulnerable Minds is a tour de force!  With exceptional depth and breadth of scholarship, Hauser uses research and theory to illuminate the lives of children growing up amidst adversity, while showing that they are not doomed to succumb to it if the forces of resilience, compassion and social justice are mobilized on their behalf.”
— James Garbarino, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Cornell University and Loyola University Chicago, author of Listening to Killers

“Deeply informed and profoundly moving, Marc Hauser's remarkable book not only reveals the indescribable tragedy of loss of childhood but also shows how sympathy and understanding along with impressive advances of science can offer escape and hope for the victims.”
— Noam Chomsky, Laureate Professor, University of Arizona, author of The Precipice

“I want this book in the hands of every medical student, health professional and educator! It so eloquently and compassionately outlines the profound impact of childhood adversity, maltreatment and neglect that affects lifelong health learning and behavior.”
Jean Clinton BMus MD FRCP(C) Clinical Professor, Child Psychiatry, McMaster University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, and the author of Love Builds Brains

"Vulnerable Minds is a mesmerizing read on an extremely important topic.  Marc Hauser lucidly illuminates the science that establishes and explains the physical and psychological consequences of many kinds of adversity endured by millions of children in the US and around the world… But the book also offers hope via evidence that many forms of intervention can ameliorate or even reverse the damage done to bodies and minds by childhood adversity."
— Susan Carey, Morss Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of The Origin of Concepts

“Even as so much of this latest work proves disheartening, this book also highlights what is promising, including that mistreated children often develop hidden talents; that children vary immensely in how and whether they are affected by adversity; and what can—and still needs to be—done so that ever more children can experience the developmental fruits of growing up safe and secure.”
Jay Belsky, Emeritus Professor, University of California-Davis, and author of The Origins of You

“This ’must read’ book provides the reader not only with revolutionary insights into the very nature and suffering of humans, but gives hope as it provides the necessary compass towards a better place in this world.”
Thomas Elbert, Professor, University of Konstanz; Honorary Professor, Université Lumiére, Bujumbura; author of Narrative Exposure Therapy

“In Marc Hauser’s well-researched, exquisitely written and heartfelt account of the misfortunes and horrors many children face, we learn how some children suffer greatly and a fortunate few are spared.”
Charles A. Nelson, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Neuroscience and
Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Richard David Scott Chair in Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research, Boston Children’s Hospital, author of Romania's Abandoned Children
“With the experience of a caring parent, insights of an experienced teacher and analytical skills of a scientist, Marc Hauser trains his eyes on Adverse Childhood Events, or ACEs.  Along with clear and succinct explanations of the physical and mental health impacts of early adversity Hauser provides constructive proposals for dealing with trauma’s consequences. Anyone raising, interacting with, supervising or devising policies that impact children needs to read this book.”
— Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Professor Emerita, University of California, Davis, author of Mother Nature

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593538692
ISBN-10: 0593538692
Publisher: Avery
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English