Child Development Experts Discover Potential Upside to Prenatal Stress

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[Source: Science Daily]

New research with prairie voles by child development experts at the University of California, Davis, suggests that prenatal stress promotes developmental plasticity in babies, making them especially likely to benefit from good parenting as well as suffer from negligent care.

“It looks like prenatal stress can be good for us if we are lucky enough to have a supportive environment postnatally,” said Sarah Hartman, a recent Ph.D. graduate in human ecology at UC Davis who conducted the research under the supervision of human development professor Jay Belsky and Karen Bales, professor of psychology.

“Most notably, our research challenges the prevailing view that prenatal stress undermines children’s health and development,” Belsky said.

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