The effects of stress in early life and adolescence on posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety symptomatology in adulthood Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Elsevier Ltd Developmental windows of environmental sensitivity open and close throughout ontogeny, which can lead to vastly different effects of stress that depend upon age at exposure. It is well established that stress in adulthood can catalyze mental illness, but the effects of stress exposure during early life stages on the emergence and persistence of psychopathology remain unclear. Stress response systems undergo maturational changes that differ between early life and adolescence, and stress exposure during these two stages can have varying or even opposing consequences that persist into adulthood. In this review, we discuss clinical and rodent studies of developmental stages that seem to have distinct sensitivities to stressearly life and adolescence. We review the effects of stress during these two developmental periods on adult phenotype and risk for common stress-related disorders: depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. We conclude by discussing challenges and recommendations for future research to investigate which features of developmental stress, or individual phenotype, may predict relative risk for common psychopathologies.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Chaby, L. E., Zhang, L. i., & Liberzon, I.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Chaby, Lauren E||Zhang, Li||Liberzon, Israel

publication date

  • April 2017