The effect on early childhood populations is disastrous: early life toxic stress leads to heart conditions, depression, substance use, and other serious problems in adulthood.
What is toxic stress?
Strong and prolonged activation of the body’s stress response in absence of buffering protection of adult support. Precipitants include extreme poverty, physical or emotional abuse, chronic neglect, severe maternal depression, substance abuse, and family violence.
What are the effects of toxic stress?
Disruption of brain architecture that leads to stress management systems that have lower threshold of activation. Increased risk of stress-related physical and mental illness.