Learning how to cope with adversity is an important part of healthy child development.
Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body and brain.
key concepts on toxic stress, healthy response systems and how a
n "environment of relationships" is crucial for the development of a child's brain architecture, which lays the foundation for later outcomes such as academic performance, mental health, and interpersonal skills.
This site includes a video library that addresses many of these key concepts and ways communities can support children and families.
Center for the Study of Social Policy
In recent years, important attention has been paid to the concept of toxic stress and its impact on child development.
As scientific understanding of toxic stress grows, communities across the country are finding ways to prevent and respond to toxic stress in the lives of community members, particularly young children and their families.
Six such communities are working together in the
EC-LINC Learning Lab on Community Responses to Toxic Stress, facilitated by our national partner, the Center for the Study of Social Policy.
Building on the widely used definition of toxic stress from the Harvard Center for the Developing Child (see above), the Learning Lab has worked to define what toxic stress is, why it is of concern and how communities can respond.
The result is an issue brief:
Toxic Stress - Working Toward Well-Being Community Approaches to Toxic Stress which can be accessed here.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is part of a growing network of leaders working to increase awareness and understanding of the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the need to develop effective innovative interventions. Learn more about ACEs and share theinfographic with others.
Want to learn more about ACEs?
Visit Robert Wood Foundation's website at:
"This project was supported in part by the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services (DHS-DFCS) through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CFDA 93.590). Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the DHS-DFCS or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CFDA 93.590)."
For more information on Strengthening Families Georgia contact Jeanette Meyer, Strengthening Families Georgia