ERIC Number: ED503055
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Abstractor: As Provided
Toxic Stress: Implications for Policy & Practice. An Interview with Developmental Psychologist Megan R. Gunnar
Gunnar, Megan R.
National Scientific Council on the Developing Child
A growing body of science shows the critical effects of an extreme and sustained stressful environment for children on their developing brain architecture and the expression of genes in later life. Toxic stress can shift the brain into surviving in a way that's more rigid and less adaptive. For example, as a result of biologically altered brain processing, children who have suffered physical abuse may be predisposed to imagine anger in otherwise ambiguous faces. The implications of the science for public-policy decisions are far-reaching. Science reinforces the urgent need to focus on early childhood development, and not to shortchange it, thinking we can compensate later.
Descriptors: Brain, Stress Variables, Environmental Influences, Child Development, Biological Influences, Child Abuse, Psychological Patterns, Public Policy, Early Intervention, Young Children, Neurological Organization
National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. Available from: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. 50 Church Street 4th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-496-0578; Fax: 617-496-1229; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.developingchild.harvard.edu
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University