- Associated Press - Thursday, October 19, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A foundation studying health issues says 52 percent of West Virginia children have had at least one adverse experience that could impair their long-term welfare.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says that’s higher than the 46 percent national average, representing 34 million children under 18.

Its report cites the Census Bureau’s 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health and analysis by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The foundation says the nine experiences contribute to high stress levels that derail healthy development and raise risks for unhealthy behaviors.

They include a parent or guardian who died, served jail time or divorced or separated; households with violence or often struggling financially; neighborhood violence; and living with someone mentally ill, suicidal, depressed or addicted; often mistreated due to race or ethnicity.

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