Pediatric massage is a growing specialty, and massage is effective at addressing symptoms of trauma, including stress and pain.

New research shows if children feel threatened by even very low levels of violence between their parents, they may be at increased risk for developing trauma symptoms.

A study by psychologists at Southern Methodist University in Dallas found children who witness violence between their mother and her intimate partner report fewer trauma symptoms if they don’t perceive the violence as threatening.

“The research highlights the importance of assessing how threatened a child feels when his or her parents are violent toward one another, and how that sense of threat may be linked to symptoms of trauma,” a university press release notes.

Family violence experts estimate that more than half of children exposed to intimate partner violence experience trauma symptoms, such as bad dreams, nightmares and trying to forget about the fights.

The SMU study of 532 children and their mothers looked at the link between intimate partner violence and trauma symptoms in children. The families were recruited from communities in the urban Dallas area.

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