When is the optimal time for those interventions to be implemented?
This technical report addresses these important questions in 3 ways.
In simple terms, the process of development is now understood as a function of “nature dancing with nurture over time,” in contrast to the longstanding but now outdated debate about the influence of “nature versus nurture.” That is to say, beginning prenatally, continuing through infancy, and extending into childhood and beyond, development is driven by an ongoing, inextricable interaction between biology (as defined by genetic predispositions) and ecology (as defined by the social and physical environment)The basic science of pediatrics.
The United States, like all nations of the world, is facing a number of social and economic challenges that must be met to secure a promising future.
Central to this task is the need to produce a well-educated and healthy adult population that is sufficiently skilled to participate effectively in a global economy and to become responsible stakeholders in a productive society.
Third, it proposes a new role for pediatricians to promote the development and implementation of science-based strategies to reduce toxic stress in early childhood as a means of preventing or reducing many of society’s most complex and enduring problems, which are frequently associated with disparities in learning, behavior, and health.
The magnitude of this latter challenge cannot be overstated.
Drawing on these multiple streams of investigation, this report presents an ecobiodevelopmental framework that illustrates how early experiences and environmental influences can leave a lasting signature on the genetic predispositions that affect emerging brain architecture and long-term health.