Leveraging the Biology of Adversity and Resilience to Transform Pediatric Practice

This February 2021 article by Jack P. Shonkoff, Thomas Boyce, Pat Levitt, Fernando D. Martinez and Bruce McEwen is one of two companion pieces in the journal Pediatrics.  The article highlights how the different outcomes experienced by children are shaped by ongoing adaptations to context that begin very early and continue throughout life.  Beyond the developing brain, it illustrates the importance of the prenatal period and early childhood as critical periods for multiple developing biological systems, including the immune and metabolic systems.  The authors propose a new framework for leveraging advancing biological discoveries to find new strategies for pediatric primary care and advocacy to prevent the effects of early life adversity.  This new framework moves beyond providing counseling on child development and aims to inform new approaches to prevent disease and promote the development of the whole-child.

Watch the free, four-minute video abstract of the article featuring Dr. Shonkoff here.

Read the article at the American Academy of Pediatrics.