Forum Session

Early Childhood Adversity, Toxic Stress, and Brain Development: Implications for Practice and Policy
May 16, 2014


Jessamy Taylor, MPP


Nurturing environments promote healthy development in children. Research findings demonstrate that adverse childhood experiences like chronic neglect or recurrent abuse negatively impact brain development and function in young children and derail typical development. Early childhood adversity and adult chronic disease are also strongly linked. This Forum session looked at the emerging science of brain development, toxic stress, and early childhood adversity as well as efforts by multiple stakeholders to accelerate its adoption within the practices and policies of the medical, behavioral health, child welfare, and other social services systems.


Andrew Garner, MD, PhD, FAAP (bio)
Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Leadership Workgroup on Early Brain and Child Development
American Academy of Pediatrics

Susan N. Dreyfus (bio)
President and Chief Executive Officer
Alliance for Children and Families and Families International

Clare Anderson, MSW, LICSW (bio)
Policy Fellow
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Related Materials

For additional information, see the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

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