Early experience and the development of stress reactivity and regulation in children

Michelle M. Loman, Megan R. Gunnar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

357 Scopus citations


Children who spend early portions of their lives in institutions or those maltreated in their families of origin are at risk for developing emotional and behavioral problems reflecting disorders of emotion and attention regulation. Animal models may help explicate the mechanisms producing these effects. Despite the value of the animal models, many questions remain in using the animal data to guide studies of human development. In 1999, the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States funded a research network to address unresolved issues and enhance translation of basic animal early experience research to application in child research. Professor Seymour Levine was both the inspiration for and an active member of this research network until his death in October of 2007. This review pays tribute to his legacy by outlining the conceptual model which is now guiding our research studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-876
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Animal models
  • Caregiving
  • Child development
  • Deprivation
  • Emotion
  • Foster care
  • Institutional care
  • Regulation
  • Stress


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