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date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews how the field of developmental psychopathology has shaped research on risk and resilience processes in the context of childhood stress. The central tenets of developmental psychopathology, including its transdisciplinary and multilevel nature, equifinality and multifinality, developmental cascades, and the interaction of risk and protective factors across development, guide research aiming to understand individual differences in response to stressors during childhood. Various stressors that children experience, including maltreatment, poverty, institutional care, malnutrition, and environmental exposures, can lead to different effects on biology and behavior depending on the type, timing, chronicity, and severity of the stressor. Genetics, psychobiology, and neurophysiology have been incorporated into this research to enhance our understanding of individual differences in functioning following childhood stress. Future directions include more fully incorporating sex differences into studies of childhood stress and utilizing research in this area to create effective interventions for children experiencing severe stress.

Keywords: developmental psychopathology, stress, childhood, resilience, genetics, psychobiology, transdisciplinary, multilevel, individual differences

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