Current Pediatric Reviews

Giuseppe Buonocore
Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine
University of Siena


Early Adversity and Mental Health: Linking Extremely Low Birth Weight, Emotion Regulation, and Internalizing Disorders

Author(s): Jordana Waxman, Ryan J. Van Lieshout, Louis A. Schmidt.


The experience of early adversity can increase one’s risk of psychopathology later in life. Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) provides a unique model of early adversity that affords us the opportunity to understand how prenatal and early postnatal stressors can affect the development of emotional, biological, and behavioural systems. Since the neuroendocrine system and emotion regulation can both be negatively affected by exposure to early adversity, and dysregulation in these regulatory systems has been linked to various forms of psychopathology, it is possible that these systems could mediate and/or moderate associations between early adversity, specifically ELBW, and later internalizing disorders. In this review, we discuss evidence of an early programming hypothesis underlying psychopathology and the identification of neuroendocrine markers of early adversity that may mediate/moderate the development of psychopathology.

Keywords: Cortisol, early adversity, early programming, emotion regulation, birth weight, internalizing disorders, neuroendocrine, psychopathology, stress.

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Article Details

Year: 2014
Page: [208 - 215]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/157339631003140722103523
Price: $58