Recent scientific advances are driving a paradigm shift in the understanding of how child development impacts human health and disease across the lifespan. Early social and environmental experiences (the ecology) and the genetic predispositions (the biology) influence the development of adaptive behaviors, learning capacities, lifelong physical and mental health, and future economic productivity.
The Core Story of Early Brain and Child Development (EBCD)
- Child development is the foundation for community and economic development
- Brains are built over time – prenatally to young adulthood
- Brain architecture is built in a cumulative, bottom-up manner; a solid foundation is required for future skills
- A dynamic dance between genes and experience shapes the architecture of the developing brain
- Brain development is integrated; the areas underlying social, emotional and learning skills are inextricably connected and rely upon each other
- Toxic stress disrupts the developing brain and has lifelong effects on learning, behavior, and health
- Positive parenting and nurturing emerging social, emotional, and language skills buffers toxic stress and builds resilience by promoting healthy, adaptive coping skills
- Creating the right conditions in early childhood is more effective and far less costly than addressing a multitude of problems later on in life
Translating the Science: What it Means for Pediatricians
View key tips for EBCD.