UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Research Review: The neurobiology and genetics of maltreatment and adversity

McCrory, E; De Brito, SA; Viding, E; (2010) Research Review: The neurobiology and genetics of maltreatment and adversity. J CHILD PSYCHOL PSYC , 51 (10) 1079 - 1095. 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02271.x.

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

The neurobiological mechanisms by which childhood maltreatment heightens vulnerability to psychopathology remain poorly understood. It is likely that a complex interaction between environmental experiences (including poor caregiving) and an individual's genetic make-up influence neurobiological development across infancy and childhood, which in turn sets the stage for a child's psychological and emotional development. This review provides a concise synopsis of those studies investigating the neurobiological and genetic factors associated with childhood maltreatment and adversity. We first provide an overview of the neuroendocrine findings, drawing from animal and human studies. These studies indicate an association between early adversity and atypical development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis stress response, which can predispose to psychiatric vulnerability in adulthood. We then review the neuroimaging findings of structural and functional brain differences in children and adults who have experienced childhood maltreatment. These studies offer evidence of several structural differences associated with early stress, most notably in the corpus callosum in children and the hippocampus in adults; functional studies have reported atypical activation of several brain regions, including decreased activity of the prefrontal cortex. Next we consider studies that suggest that the effect of environmental adversity may be conditional on an individual's genotype. We also briefly consider the possible role that epigenetic mechanisms might play in mediating the impact of early adversity. Finally we consider several ways in which the neurobiological and genetic research may be relevant to clinical practice and intervention.

Type: Article
Title: Research Review: The neurobiology and genetics of maltreatment and adversity
DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02271.x
Keywords: Child abuse, maltreatment, neuroscience, genetics, HPA, psychopathology, resilience, cortisol, POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER, CORTICOTROPIN-RELEASING-FACTOR, CHILDHOOD SEXUAL-ABUSE, ATTACHMENT-BASED INTERVENTION, PITUITARY-ADRENAL RESPONSES, SMALLER HIPPOCAMPAL VOLUME, DIURNAL SALIVARY CORTISOL, VOXEL-BASED MORPHOMETRY, EARLY-LIFE ADVERSITY, MAJOR DEPRESSION
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/142385
Downloads since deposit
0Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item