Early life stress as a risk factor for disease in adulthood

Philip A. Fisher, Megan Gunnar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

18 Scopus citations


This chapter concentrates on three areas of model development. First, it presents data showing how differential impacts to specific neural regulatory systems are associated with variations by the type of early life stress (ELS) experienced. Second, the chapter describes how studies of the severity of ELS are providing a new basis for understanding trajectories towards risk versus resilience among foster children and other populations who experience ELS. Third, it also describes a growing body of evidence documenting the plasticity of these neural systems in response to psychosocial, family-based therapeutic interventions. The chapter focuses on the neurobiological systems involved in the reaction and the regulation of physiological responses to stressors. Much work remains to be done across the spectrum of risk and resilience following ELS in order to improve the identification of individuals in need of services and to specify the techniques most likely to improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease
Subtitle of host publicationThe Hidden Epidemic
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780511777042
ISBN (Print)9780521880268
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2010.


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