“…violence, which is one of the most extensive and chronic epidemics in the Public Health of this country."

James W.Prescott, Ph.D.

C. Everett Koop, M.D., PHS Surgeon General and Deputy Assistant Secretary For Health. addressed the American Academy of Pediatrics, New York October 26, 1982 On Violence and Public Health, stated some 30 years ago:

  • I'm not limiting my remarks just to child abuse this morning, rather, this is a call to action on your part–individually and collectively–to address this issue of violence by discussion, study, and research.
  • We've got to do this because violence has grown to become one of the major public health problems in American society today. It is not new, of course.
  • Let me propose as a starting-point the proposition that physicians need to become more familiar with the symptoms of violent personality in child and parent alike.
  • A family environment that is cruel and uncaring will send cruel and uncaring children into the world as aggressive, violent adults.
  • There seems to be no other institutional focus for research into the causes of violence that takes into account the multiple biological, psychological, social, and societal dimensions of crime, its victims, and its prevention. The institutions closet to being able to provide a multidisciplinary approach to research in the prevention of family violence, for example, would be the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
  • When that time arrives, then we may indeed be close to understanding and controlling violence, which is one of the most extensive and chronic epidemics in the Public Health of this country.
  • childhood injuries are no accident... It's time to be honest with ourselves about the way we treat children in general in our society… childhood injuries are no accident... It's time to be honest with ourselves about the way we treat children in general in our society… There never was a time when a major social problem was solved by beating a child. And there never will be such a time... For centuries adults have injured children and have lied about it, and other adults have heard those lies and then merely turned away... {2.16.89: Kids Symposium}.
  • There is little to add to these excerpts from this excellent statement by Dr. Koop. They speak from the past and they speak to the future for those who care to listen and to act–"individually and collectively–to address this issue of violence by discussion, study, and research.” particularly, for the "National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development”

Tragically, The American Academy of Pediatrics and the NICHD/NIH has ignored the Council; pf Dr. Koop.

The report of the NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Study of Early Child Care (SECC) found that infants and very young children who spend more than 30 hours a -week in child care “are far more demanding, more noncompliant, and they are more aggressive” and “They scored higher on things like gets in lots of fights, cruelty, bullying, meanness as well as talking too much, demands must be met immediately”, according to Dr. Belsky, one of the principle investigators”(Stolberg, New York Times, April 19, 2001).

Dr. Sarah Friedman, NICHD Scientific Project Officer was reported as saying “We cannot and should not hide the findings but I don’t want to create a mass hysteria when I don’t know what explains these results” (Stolberg, 2001).

The National Institutes of Health publication in April 1994 Report of the Panel on NIH Research on Antisocial, Aggressive, and Violence-Related Behaviors and their Consequences" reported the findings of the Summary September 22-24, 1993 meeting: 2nd paragraph: "To date, investment across all Institutes and ICDs in violence-related research has been minuscule relative to the total NIH budget (i.e.0.5%)."
View Page 138.

What is the current funding of NIH supported research on child abuse and neglect and developmental origins of violence? Given the explosion of genomic research, it can be expected to be much lower than the 0,5% reported for 1974, a shocking level given the commentary of Dr. Koop.

Professor Urie Bronfenbrenner,. 1970 White House Conference on Children. Minority Report, Forum 15: Children and Parents, has reminded us:

  • America’s families, and their children, are in trouble, trouble so deep and pervasive as to threaten the future of our nation.

This writer would like to personalize De. Koop’s concerns, which are dramatized by the killing of children at the Newton, CT elementary school.

The first person killed by Adam Lanza was his Mother with four bullets in her head, an unexamined event in this tragedy. What did this Mother do or did not do to cause this behavior in her son? There was little on no affectiional bonding between this Mother and her son. Was there any breastfeeding by this Mother? Breastfeeding Mothers (> 2 YRS) rarely have violent children! Affectional Bonding between Mother and Infant/child prevents VIOLENCE, Bullying and Suicide.

Prescott (1989) has summarized the statistically significant correlates of Social-Behavioral Characteristics Of Affectionate/Nurturant & Non-Affectionate/Non-Nurturant Primitive Cultures Truth Seeker Supplement July/August 1989.
That can be seen at:

Heath 1975); Berman, Berman and Prescott (1974) have established impaired brain development in adult pathlogically violent mother deprived monkeys. Video documentation of paleocerebelllar decortication in abolishing violent behavior and permitting expressive affectional behaviors can be seen at:

“ wild monkey or ape mother has ever been observed to deliberately harm her own baby”(p.179). Emphasis added.

An extended review of why homo sapiens has evolved into the most pathological violent life form on this planet can be viewed at
Dr. Collins: What percent of the NIH budget is directed toward Mother-infant bonding and its developmental consequences?

Belsky, J. (2003). The Dangers of Day Care. The Wall Street Journal. July 16
Berman, A.J., Berman, D. & Prescott, J.W. (1974). The effect of cerebellar lesions on emotional behavior in the rhesus monkey. In: The Cerebellum, Epilepsy and Behavior. (Cooper, I.S., Riklon, M.V. & Snider, R.S. (Eds) Plenum, NY
Bowlby, J. (1953). Child Care and The Growth of Love. Pelican Books. Baltimore, MD. Published by the World Health Organization (WHO) Report: Maternal Care and Mental Health (1951).
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1970). Minority Report of Forum 15: Children and Parents. 1970 White House Conference on Children. Washington, D,C,
Cook, Peter (1996) Early Child Care: Infants & Nations At Risk: New Weekly Books.
Heath, R. G. (l975): Maternal-social deprivation and abnormal brain development: Disorders of emotional and social behavior. In Brain Function and Malnutrition: : Neuropsychological Methods of Assessment (Prescott, J.W., Read, M.S., & Coursin, D.B., Eds). John Wiley New York.
Hrdy, Sarah Blaffer (2010). Mother Nature. A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection.
Pantheon Books. New York.
Koop, C. Everett (1982). Violence and Public Health. Address to the American Academy of
Pediatrics, New York October 26, 1982.
Miller, A. (1980/2002). For Your Own Good. Farrar * Straus * Giroux New York
Montagu, A. (1952). The Natural Superiority of Women. Macmillan. NewYoek.
Prescott, J.W. (1975) Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence. The Futurist April. Reprinted: The Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists (1975) November.
Prescott, J.W. (2002). How Culture Shapes the Developing Brain & the Future of Humanity. Touch the Future. Spring Newsletter.
Prescott, J.W.(2005): Prevention Or Therapy And The Politics of Trust: Inspiring a New Human Agenda. in: Psychotherapy and Politics International .(3(3):194-211, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.;
Prescott, J.W. (2013). Perspective 6. Nurturant Versus Nonnurturant Environments and the Failure of the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness (pp. 427-438).. In: Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development, (Darcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan N. Schore and Tracy R. Gleason, Eds). Oxford University Press. Oxford. New York
Prescott, J.W.(1989). Social-Behavioral Characteristics Of Affectionate/Nurturant & Non- Affectionate/Non-NurturantPrimitive Cultures Truth Seeker Supplement July/August 1989.
Stolberg, S.G (2001). Link Found Between Behavioral Problems and Time in Child Care. The New York Times. 18 April.

James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
BioBehavioral Systems
20 October 2013