Childhood family adversity increases the risk of a wide range of psychological and physical health problems later in life, prompting research into developmental pathways linking childhood experiences to adult health. The current paper discusses a social-biological pathway by which childhood family relationships influence the development of the social and emotional skills necessary for adaptive behavioral and biological responses to stress. Failures in the development of social and emotional competence during childhood may lead to dysregulated responses to stress and difficulties in social relationships across the lifespan. Over time, the cumulative impact of dysregulated stress responses and low social support may increase the risk of mental and physical health problems later in life.
- Childhood adversity
- social support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science