Title

The Positive and Negative Consequences of Stressors during Early Life

Publication Date

2015

Journal

Early Human Development

Volume

91

Issue

11

First Page

643

Last Page

647

Abstract

We discuss the long-term effects of stress exposure in pre- and early postnal life. We present an evolutionary framework within which such effects can be viewed, and describe how the outcomes might vary with species life histories. We focus on stressors that induce increases in glucocorticoid hormones and discuss the advantages of an experimental approach. We describe a number of studies demonstrating how exposure to these hormones in early life can influence stress responsiveness and have substantial long-term, negative consequences for adult longevity. We also describe how early life exposure to mild levels of stressors can have beneficial effects on resilience to stress in later life, and discuss how the balance of costs and benefits is likely dependent on the nature of the adult environment (C) 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI

10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.08.008

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