Stress and Development Laboratory

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At the Stress and Development Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, we are working to understand how experiences of stress and adversity impact children’s development.  Stressful life events are a universal experience for children, adults, and families. 

In the Stress and Development Lab, we are conducting a variety of studies to understand which types of stressors are most likely to influence children’s development and to identify the specific ways that these stressors impact developmental outcomes.  To do so, we are conducting a variety of studies that use behavioral measures, assessments of social and emotional functioning, brain imaging (MRI), and electrophysiological recording (including ECG and EEG) to shed light on the relationship between stressful life experiences and different aspects of children’s development.

We are hopeful that understanding the ways that these experiences influence children’s brain and behavioral development will ultimately provide better strategies for fostering healthy outcomes and preventing the onset of health problems in children who have experienced stress and disadvantage. We are also developing clinical and educational interventions aimed at reducing the impact of stressful life experiences on children’s health and development.

Learn more about our ongoing studies and opportunities for participation.

Learn more about Kate McLaughlin

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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