November 2016 - Lab Director Katie McLaughlin edits a special issue on Mechanisms Linking Early-Life Adversity with Physical Health

November 8, 2016
Lab Director Katie McLaughlin was the Guest Editor of a special issue of Psychosomatic Medicine on Mechanisms Linking Early-Life Adversity with Physical Health along with Nicole Bush and Richard Lane. In the last 2 decades, a veritable explosion of research into the early-life determinants of physical health has demonstrated that social and environmental factors in early life play a critical role in predicting morbidity and mortality across the life course. In particular, exposure to adverse experiences in childhood—including poverty, abuse, neglect, and violence—has been associated with elevated risk for the onset of a wide range of physical health problems in adulthood. Despite strong evidence for the links between early-life adversity and health outcomes, the mechanisms that underlie these associations remain poorly understood. Exploring these mechanisms is the goal of this special issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.  The articles in this special issue draw upon a diverse set of samples to examine a wide range of potential mechanisms operating at multiple levels of influence, spanning physiological and psychosocial pathways that might underlie the associations of early adversity with health.
 
Articles from the special issue are freely available for the next month here:
 

November 2016 - Maya Rosen, Post-Doc, receives a National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Child Health and Development.

November 7, 2016

Maya Rosen, a postdoc in the Stress and Development Lab, has been awarded a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Her project is entitled “Long-Term Memory-Guided Attention: Development, Environmental Factors, and Neural Underpinnings.”Intact coordination between long-term memory and attention is essential for normal cognitive functioning. Development of this coordination in children is understudied and almost nothing known about the environmental factors that contribute to its development. Maya’s proposed studies will investigate the behavioral and neural development of long-term memory-guided attention from childhood to adolescence and the association of early life cognitive deprivation with this development; study findings have the potential to inform interventions to improve cognitive and academic outcomes for children raised in poverty.

May 2016- Graduate students Charlotte Heleniak and Hilary Lambert won poster awards at the 2016 Association for Psychological Science meeting in Chicago.

July 6, 2016

The Society for the Science of Clinical Psychology holds an annual poster competition at the Association for Psychological Science meeting.  Graduate students from the Stress and Development Lab Charlotte Heleniak and Hilary Lambert were among the four graduate students who won poster awards out of nearly 100 submissions.  Congrats Charlotte and Hilary!!

March 2016 - Honors Student Victoria Chambers is honored for her research and clinical work with children who have experienced trauma.

March 2, 2016

Honors Student Victoria Chambers is honored for her research and clinical work with children who have experienced trauma.  Read the story here: "Taking on Childhood Trauma" http://www.washington.edu/boundless/taking-on-childhood-trauma/

February 2016 - Dr. Katie McLaughlin wins the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association.

February 22, 2016

Dr. Katie McLaughlin wins the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association (APA).  The APA Distinguished Scientific Awards for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology honor early career scientists for contributions in the first nine years post-PhD.  These awards are given across 10 areas of psychology.  Dr. McLaughlin won the award in the area of Psychopathology.  Thank you to the APA for this incredible honor!

December 2015 - Stress and Development Lab research highlights pervasive exposure to trauma among US children and adolescents

December 2, 2015

Research conducted by the Stress and Development Lab has shown that more than 60% of children and adolescents in the United States will experience a traumatic event, such as being the victim of violence or a life-threatening accident or injury, by the time they reach adulthood.  This work identifies risk factors for trauma exposure as well as for the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among youths who have experienced trauma.  The original paper can be found on the publications page (provide link to pdf to the McLaughlin et al, 2013 paper on trauma exposure and PTSD in a national sample).  The importance of this research for prevention of trauma and PTSD is reviewed by Marylene Cloitre and can be found here: (http://www.jneurosci.org/content/34/40/13435.full.pdf+html)

August 2015 - Lab Director Katie McLaughlin receives the Rising Star Award from the IMHRO One Mind Institute.

September 2, 2015

The IMHRO One Mind Institute Rising Star Awards aim to identify and funding critical and cutting edge research on the neural underpinnings of mental disorders.  Dr. McLaughlin will be examining Neural Mechanisms of Stress Vulnerability in Youth Depression and Anxiety Disorders with the award.  The Stress and Development Lab is thrilled to receive this support from the IMHRO One Mind Institute.

 

You can read more about the research project here: https://www.imhro.org/news/dr-katie-mclaughlin-understanding-how-stress-causes-anxiety-and-depression-youth

August 2015 - Charlotte Heleniak, 5th year graduate student, receives a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health

August 25, 2015

Charlotte Heleniak, fifth year graduate student, has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship. These awards enable promising predoctoral students to obtain individualized, mentored research training from outstanding faculty sponsors while conducting dissertation research in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The NRSA will support Charlotte as she conducts her dissertation research study, “Child Maltreatment and Neurobiological Underpinnings Of Social Cognition” under the mentorship of Drs. Katie McLaughlin and Lori Zoellner. Congratulations Charlotte!

August 2015 - Stress and Development Lab research uncovers how child maltreatment influences brain responses to emotional information.

August 25, 2015

A study published this week by the Stress and Development Lab examined brain responses to emotional information in children exposed to maltreatment.  Maltreated children exhibited greater activation than children who had never experienced violence in the amygdala and other brain regions when looking at negative images, suggesting that negative emotional cues are more salient to children who have been maltreated.  However, maltreated children were just as able to modulate amygdala responses to negative cues as children who had never experienced violence after being taught specific strategies for regulating their emotions.  These findings have promising implications for treatment, as the strategies participants used in the study to regulate their emotions are similar to those used in trauma therapy for children.

You can read more about these findings here: http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/08/20/maltreated-childrens-brains-show-encouraging-ability-to-regulate-emotions/

April 2015 - Research from the Stress & Development Lab identifies an early sensitive period for stress response system development.

April 21, 2015
New research from the stress and development lab suggests that the early social environment has a lasting impact on the development of stress response systems in children and that early intervention can mitigate the effects of early environments but only during the first two years of life.  The findings were published this week in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 
You can read more about these findings here:
 
 
Read more about the health implications of this research here:
 
See our publication page for the full paper from PNAS.