The Contrast of Brain Development With Healthy Versus Neglectful/Abusive Parenting
Presenter: Dr. Hillary Wynn
Thriving communities depend on the successful development of the people who live in them, and building the foundations of successful development in childhood requires responsive relationships and supportive environments. The presenter will discuss how healthy, neglectful, or abusive interactions that occur between young children and the adults who care for them actually affect the formation of neural connections and the circuitry of the developing brain. She will explain how in some cases where adult responses are unreliable, inappropriate, or simply absent, developing brain circuits can be disrupted, and place children at an increased risk for a number of problematic developmental, health, emotional and mental health outcomes, including learning problems (e.g., problems with inattention and deficits in executive functions), problems relating to peers (e.g., peer rejection), internalizing symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety), externalizing symptoms (e.g., oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, aggression), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants will also learn what influence epigenetics has on brain development and plasticity and key principles for supporting children’s development and recovery following adversity.