The Impact of Gestational Stress on Infant and Child Development
Elysia Davis, Psychiatry & Human Behavior, UCI
Monday, April 26th
Social Ecology I, Room 112
View Dr. Davis' Faculty website
The prenatal period is a time of rapid change during which fetal organs and organ systems are forming and are vulnerable to both organizing and disorganizing influences. These influences on the fetus have been described as programming; the process by which a stimulus or insult during a vulnerable developmental period has a long-lasting or permanent effect. The effects of programming are dependent on the timing of the exposure and on the developmental stage of organ systems. This presentation will explore the developmental consequences of prenatal exposure to biological and psychosocial signals of maternal stress as factors that may contribute to individual variability in health and disease across the life span. The prospective, longitudinal nature of these investigations will foster discussion of the importance of timing of exposure to prenatal stress for determining the influence on later health outcomes.