Impact of Gestational Period Stress and Early Life Stressors on Child Development

Main Article Content

Karishma Patel


Neurobiological/neuroanatomical differences that impact development often manifest from physical defects, genetic diseases, physical trauma, and other internal factors. However, external factors have also been discovered to have a significant effect on brain structure, brain function, cognition, and emotion. This paper in particular will focus on the way gestational period stress on the mother can negatively impact a child’s development in connection with the increased neurotrophic factors, depressed development, and social anxiety that forms within the child. To continue, children who undergo early life stressors, whether that be in the form of a traumatic disorder or the struggles of low socioeconomic standing show developmental changes in brain anatomy that hinder memory, emotional control, and reward pathways. Furthermore, the consequences of early childhood/prenatal stressors on development are most modulated by maternal nurturing.

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Author Biography

Karishma Patel

My name is Karishma Patel and I am an incoming senior studying psychology with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience. My article investigates the impact early life stress can have on child development. This paper highlights the neurodevelopmental/neurobiological changes that occur in the brain due to stressful events and circumstances early in development. Furthermore, this essay assesses how the relationship between children and their caregivers can modulate the activity of stress hormones in early life.