Special Issue: The effects of early experience and stress on brain and behavioral development
From International Journal of Behavioral Development
The collection of papers in this special issue reflects presentations from a 2010 conference, The theme was the effects of stress and early adversity on children’s development. Ranging from individuals studying stress resilience in nonhuman primates to researchers studying the effects of exposure to political violence within the context of the Middle East.
Three themes emerged from this series of papers. First, and most obvious, was the evidence that infants and children exposed to different types of adversity (specifically, trauma, neglect, or violence) are significantly affected by such exposure, and that these effects often persist. Second was identification of the underlying neurobiology of stress adversity. A third theme of the presentations provided a balance to the dire consequences and outcomes of early exposure to adversity. A number of papers suggested that individual differences in genetic, temperamental, or contextual factors could moderate exposure to stress such that certain children may flourish or at least show a diminution of negative outcomes over time.