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Developmental origins of stress and self-regulation and implications for interventions to improve childhood behavior

Principal Investigator:
  • Regula Neuenschwander, Child & Family Research Institute
  • BC Children's Hospital Research Institute/Child and Family Research Institute

Project Overview

Dr.  Neuenschwander’s research aims to explore how exposure to stress during pregnancy affects children’s development, specifically in relation to children whose mothers were depressed and/or on antidepressants during pregnancy. She is examining whether or not these children have problems later on with coping with stressful situations (cortisol responses), and if this in turn leads to difficulties in other domains such as the thinking process (executive functions). Her hope is that this project will shed light on pathways through which exposure to prenatal stress shapes developmental health and risks – the knowledge of which can be used to design interventions for children and mothers suffering from depression.