Protecting Against the Life-Long Impact of Early-Life Stress

Jamie Hanson, a Center post-doctoral associate, writes on the Child & Family Blog about the negative effects of early childhood stress on the brain.

His research done with Center Director Ken Dodge and Faculty Fellow Ahmad Hariri shows adults who experienced high levels of stress between the ages of 5 and 8 went on to display less than normal activity in areas of the brain linked to motivation, positive moods and depression.

“Bad experiences can become biologically embedded in the brains of young children and leave markers that are still observable decades later,” he writes.

Hanson, who will be an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh this fall, argues early interventions can reduce the effects of stress on children.

News Release

News Tip: Research-Based Advice for the New School Year

The new school year is getting underway and parents can help kids set the stage for success during the early weeks of classes. For parents, that means a mixture of vigilance and knowing when to step back.

“Parents need to be in surveillance mode the first few weeks of school,” says Faculty Fellow William Copeland. “The goal for parents is to be keyed in enough so that they’re aware of what’s happening, but not create more anxiety for your child.”

Experts from the Center and Duke University share back-to-school advice for parents on the following topics:

  • Bullying
  • Homework
  • Absenteeism
  • Helping English language learners navigate the start of school.