Early Life Stress Leads to Adolescent Anxiety and Depression via Brain Changes


High levels of family stress in infancy are implicated in changes in brain function related to anxiety in teenage girls, according to the 23-year “Wisconsin Study of Families and Work.” “This is one of the first demonstrations that early stress seems to have an impact on the the way this regulatory circuitry is set up in late adolescence,” says Richard Davidson, one of the leaders of the study.

Abstract →

Of further interest:
Baby Girls Exposed to Stress in the First Year ‘More Likely to Suffer Mental Health Issues as a Teenager (But Boys are Unaffected)’ (Investment Watch coverage of a Daily Mail article. Investment watch’s mission is to follow “there world’s economic trends and always be searching for the market-moving insight that everyone else has missed.”)
Early Stress May Sensitize Girls’ Brains For Later Anxiety (SciGuru)
Infant Stress Affects Teen Brain (Nature)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].