Enduring Neurobiological Effects of Childhood Abuse & Neglect
This exceptional review paper by Drs. Martin Teicher and Jacqueline Sampson synthesizes decades of neuroscientific research on childhood abuse and neglect to reveal three critically important truths. First, that all forms of attachment trauma in childhood, including "non-contact" forms of adversity such as emotional abuse, as well as traumas of omission such as emotional neglect, have potent negative effects on children. Second, that specific forms of childhood maltreatment have unique consequences for the development of brain structures and functions. Third, that these alterations in brain anatomy and physiology are not simply a source of chronic and evolving symptoms and difficulties, but actually are "best understood as adaptive responses to facilitate survival... in the face of adversity." This clearly-written article translates sophisticated research findings in a manner that is comprehensible, cogen and equally relevant to consumers, providers, educators and policymakers. Read the article.