The chaotic process of reuniting thousands of migrant children and parents separated by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy poses great psychological risks, both short- and long-term, mental health experts said on Friday (and reported in the New York Times).
Children reunited with their parents may also turn away or be difficult to soothe, said Kristin Bernard, a psychologist at Stony Brook University who works with foster children.
Those reactions, combined with the desperation washing through their parents, “may get in the way of parents providing the nurturing and responsive care that children need at this critical time,” Bernard told the NY Times.
If you're interest in connecting with Dr. Bernard for further commentary she is available.
Dr. Kristin Bernard’s work integrates ideas and methods across the fields of developmental psychology, neurobiology, clinical and preventative science. She i s an expert in the study of early childhood adversity and maltreatment; and its e motional, behavioral, social and physical impact on child development. Bernard’s research investigates how early life stress influences children's neurobiological and behavioral development and how enhanced efforts to optimal parenting/caregiving and preventative interventions may buffer at-risk children from problematic outcomes.