Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Enduring psychobiological effects of childhood adversity


Ehlert, Ulrike (2013). Enduring psychobiological effects of childhood adversity. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(9):1850-1857.

Abstract

This mini-review refers to recent findings on psychobiological long-term consequences of childhood trauma and adverse living conditions. The continuum of trauma-provoked aftermath reaches from healthy adaptation with high resilience, to severe maladjustment with co-occurring psychiatric and physical pathologies in children, adolescents and adults. There is increasing evidence of a strong interconnectivity between genetic dispositions, epigenetic processes, stress-related hormonal systems and immune parameters in all forms of (mal)-adjustment to adverse living conditions. Unfavorable constellations of these dispositions and systems, such as low cortisol levels and elevated markers of inflammation in maltreated children, seem to promote the (co)-occurrence of psychiatric and physical pathologies such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obesity, or diabetes. Although findings from prospective study designs support a deepened understanding of causal relations between adverse living conditions, including traumatic experiences, during childhood and its psychobiological effects, so far, little is known about the temporal coincidence of stress-sensitive developmental stages during childhood and adolescence and trauma consequences. Taken together, childhood adversity is a severe risk factor for the onset of psychobiological (mal)-adjustment, which has to be explained under consideration of diverse physiological systems and developmental stages of childhood and adolescence.

Abstract

This mini-review refers to recent findings on psychobiological long-term consequences of childhood trauma and adverse living conditions. The continuum of trauma-provoked aftermath reaches from healthy adaptation with high resilience, to severe maladjustment with co-occurring psychiatric and physical pathologies in children, adolescents and adults. There is increasing evidence of a strong interconnectivity between genetic dispositions, epigenetic processes, stress-related hormonal systems and immune parameters in all forms of (mal)-adjustment to adverse living conditions. Unfavorable constellations of these dispositions and systems, such as low cortisol levels and elevated markers of inflammation in maltreated children, seem to promote the (co)-occurrence of psychiatric and physical pathologies such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obesity, or diabetes. Although findings from prospective study designs support a deepened understanding of causal relations between adverse living conditions, including traumatic experiences, during childhood and its psychobiological effects, so far, little is known about the temporal coincidence of stress-sensitive developmental stages during childhood and adolescence and trauma consequences. Taken together, childhood adversity is a severe risk factor for the onset of psychobiological (mal)-adjustment, which has to be explained under consideration of diverse physiological systems and developmental stages of childhood and adolescence.

Statistics

Citations

61 citations in Web of Science®
53 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Psychotherapeutisches Zentrum des Psychologischen Instituts UZH
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:15 Jul 2013 14:41
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:52
Publisher:Pergamon
ISSN:0306-4530
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.06.007
PubMed ID:23850228

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
View at publisher