Adaptation and Resilience in Early Life: Implications of the New Developmental Neurobiology for Clinical Practice

Issue: 
Publication Date: 
05/2004
Page Count: 
14
Starting Page: 
287
Price: $10.00
Abstract: 

Growing research interest in the connections between early experience and developmental outcome-in combination with technological innovations that have made possible measurement of mental process in a way never before possible-have wiped out the last vestiges of dichotomous (mind-body) thinking, and have opened the way to new understandings about how we become the people we become. This paper summarizes some aspects of the new research in developmental neurobiology, and suggests implications for understanding the behavior of both children and adults. In particular, it is suggested that most behavior-including behavior that typically warrants a diagnosis-often turns out to be strikingly adaptive, often evidences resilience, and is, therefore worthy of respect.

KEY WORDS: adaptation, resilience, neurodevelopment, neurobiology, memory.

References: 

Axness, M. (2003). Malattachment and the self struggle: Separation, Survival and Healing. Doctoral Dissertation, The Union Institute and University.

Cohler, B. (1982). Personal narrative and the life course. In P.B. Bates and O.G. Brim (Eds.), Life-span development and behavior (Vol. 4). New York: Academic Press, p.205-241.

Jones, A., & Friedman, M. (1982). Obesity and adipocyte abnormalities in offspring of rats undernourished during pregnancy. Science, 210, p.1093-1094.

Lumey, L., Stam, F., & Ravelli, A. (1992). Birth weight, birth cohort, and adult weight among women born during the Dutch famine of 1944-45. American Journal of Epidemiology, 136, p.951-952.

Perry, B., Pollard, R., Blakley, T., Baker, W., & Vigilante, D. (Winter, 1995). Childhood trauma, the neurobiology of adaptation, and "use-dependent" development of the brain: How "states" become "traits". Infant Mental Health Journal, 16 (4).

Ravelli, G., Stein, Z., & Susser, M. ( 1976). Obesity in young men after famine exposure in utero and early infancy. New England Journal of Medicine, 295, p.349-353.

Ravelli, A., van der Meulen, J., Michels, R., & Osmond, C. (1998). Glucose tolerance in adults after prenatal exposure to famine. The Lancet, 351 (9097), p. 173-177.

Scaer, R. (2001). The body bears the burden: Trauma, dissociation, and disease. New York: Haworth.

Schore, A. (2002). Dysregulation of the right brain: A fundamental mechanism of traumatic attachment and the psychopathogenesis of posttraumatic stress disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 36 (1).

Siegel, D. (1999). The developing mind: Toward a neurobiology of interpersonal experience. New York: The Guilford Press.

Stein, Z., Susser, G., & Saenger, G. (1975). Famine and human development: The Dutch hunger winter of 1944/45. New York: Oxford University Press.

van der Kolk, B., & McFarlane, A. (1996). The black hold of trauma. In van der Kolk, B.; McFarlane, A. and Weisaeth, L. (Eds.). Traumatic stress: The effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, society. New York: The Guilford Press.

Winick, M., & Noble, A. (1966). Cellular response in rats during malnutrition at various ages. Journal of Nutrition, 89, p.300-306.

Michael Trout is Director of the Infant-Parent Institute 328 North Neil - Champaign, Il 61820, Editor of the APPPAH Newsletter, and a member of the APPPAH Board of Directors. He can be reached via e-mail at mtrout@infant-parent.com.