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NCJ Number: 207673 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Child Maltreatment on the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis
Journal: Trauma, Violence, & Abuse: A Review Journal  Volume:5  Issue:4  Dated:October 2004  Pages:333-352
Author(s): Elizabeth Van Voorhees; Angela Scarpa
Date Published: October 2004
Page Count: 20
Publisher: http://www.sagepub.com/ejournals 
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This literature review examines the possible effects of child maltreatment on the functioning of the victim's hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which has a role in memory, learning, and emotions (Stansbury and Gunnar, 1994).
Abstract: The abnormal functioning of the HPA axis has been linked to emotional responses such as anxiety and depression, as well as cognitive and behavioral processes such as learning and memory deficits and failure of response inhibition. There is evidence that attachment status may have significant developmental effects on the reactivity of the HPA axis. Although there is substantial research evidence that HPA axis impairment occurs in abused children, the nature of the damage is apparently related to factors such as age of onset of abuse, parental responsiveness, continued exposure to stressors or maltreatment, type of maltreatment, and type of psychopathology or behavioral disturbance. Early childhood abuse may cause HPA axis hypersensitivity in some women, which may make them vulnerable to the effects of stress later in life. The stress-induced changes in HPA axis functioning may contribute to long-term alterations in mood and behavior. Protective practices by significant caregivers can mitigate and shorten the duration of the effects of abuse on the functioning of the HPA axis. 50 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Child abuse; Child abuse treatment; Emotional disorders; Long term health effects of child abuse; Psychological victimization effects
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=207673

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