The effects of stress in early life and adolescence on posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety symptomatology in adulthood

Lauren E. Chaby, Li Zhang, Israel Liberzon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Developmental windows of environmental sensitivity open and close throughout ontogeny, which can lead to vastly different effects of stress that depend upon age at exposure. It is well established that stress in adulthood can catalyze mental illness, but the effects of stress exposure during early life stages on the emergence and persistence of psychopathology remain unclear. Stress response systems undergo maturational changes that differ between early life and adolescence, and stress exposure during these two stages can have varying or even opposing consequences that persist into adulthood. In this review, we discuss clinical and rodent studies of developmental stages that seem to have distinct sensitivities to stress—early life and adolescence. We review the effects of stress during these two developmental periods on adult phenotype and risk for common stress-related disorders: depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. We conclude by discussing challenges and recommendations for future research to investigate which features of developmental stress, or individual phenotype, may predict relative risk for common psychopathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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