Childhood Poverty and Parental Stress: Important Determinants of Health

Jennifer A. Kalil

ABSTRACT

The following is a literature review examining the interaction between early–life stress and child development. First, evidence showing that early–life experiences can affect the cognitive abilities, behaviour, and health of an individual are reviewed. Next, possible mechanisms by which these changes occur are explained. These mechanisms include toxic stress–mediated dysregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary– adrenal axis and epigenetics. Finally, up–and–coming research related to early–childhood interventions that target family stress relief and the child–parent relationship are touched upon. These interventions may impact the negative effects of toxic stress on cognition and health.

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Kalil JA. Childhood Poverty and Parental Stress: Important Determinants of Health. UBCMJ. 2015; 6(2):41-43.