The Development of Stress Reactivity and Regulation in Children and Adolescents

Clarissa R Filetti, Finola E Kane-Grade, Megan Gunnar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Adversity experienced in early life can have detrimental effects on physical and mental health. One pathway in which these effects occur is through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a key physiological stress-mediating system. In this review, we discuss the theoretical perspectives that guide stress reactivity and regulation research, the anatomy and physiology of the axis, developmental changes in the axis and its regulation, brain systems regulating stress, the role of genetic and epigenetics variation in axis development, sensitive periods in stress system calibration, the social regulation of stress (i.e., social buffering), and emerging research areas in the study of stress physiology and development. Understanding the development of stress reactivity and regulation is crucial for uncovering how early adverse experiences influence mental and physical health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-419
Number of pages25
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024, Bentham Science Publishers. All rights reserved.


  • adolescents
  • children
  • development
  • HPA-axis
  • regulation
  • Stress

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Review
  • Journal Article

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