Baby and the brain: Advances in child development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As child morbidity and mortality declined during the twentieth century, a corresponding increase occurred in the relevance of child psychological well-being to public health. Evidence of this trend is the proliferation of programs intended to ameliorate conditions that place children in jeopardy of poor developmental outcome. Most recently, neurobiologic information on brain function and structure has been used to promote strategies for optimizing child development. This review will evaluate the current state of knowledge relating early child development to brain research and illustrate the potential misuse of this information. It will also suggest the following: (a) the extrapolation of neuroscience results to early academic and social enrichment programs obscures the magnitude of potential effects of these programs relative to the vast burden of risk imposed by poverty, and (b) an emphasis on intellectual functioning misses the most compelling evidence on the role of the early social environment in mediating establishment of neural networks that regulate a child's response to stress and capacity for self- control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-471
Number of pages17
JournalAnnual Review of Public Health
Volume21
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

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Child Development
Child Mortality
Social Environment
Brain
Poverty
Neurosciences
Child Welfare
Public Health
Psychology
Morbidity
Research
Self-Control

Keywords

  • Early childhood intervention
  • Early experience
  • Infancy
  • Neuroscience
  • Poverty
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Baby and the brain : Advances in child development. / DiPietro, Janet Ann.

In: Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 21, 2000, p. 455-471.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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