Adverse Childhood Events and Toxic Stress


Adverse Childhood Events and Toxic Stress


Download Transcript, Episode 14 (82 KB)


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Michael Smith

Featured Speaker

Denise Dowd, MD

Length of Episode



earning how to cope with adversity is an important part of growing up.

However, when adversities in childhood can exceed the child’s ability to manage them there can be negative consequences.

Stresses caused by exposure to poverty, neglect, abuse or community violence can alter the developing brain in ways which negatively impact physical and mental health well into adulthood.

Such experiences, when not buffered by caring, involved adult caregivers result in a type of neuro-developmental toxicity, changing neural pathways through epigenetic mechanisms.

Studies have shown that an alarming number of American children are exposed to or victims of violence involving a weapon.

According to one recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, nearly one-third of children in the United States are exposed to violence before the age of 18.

The study noted that about 1 in every 33 kids are assaulted with guns and knives during these incidents.

Denise Dowd, MD is here to discuss how the psychological and physical effects of these incidents are manifested in many ways and have long term implications on the child’s health.

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Adverse Childhood Events and Toxic Stress