The term toxic stress refers to a wide array of biological changes that occur at the molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels when there is prolonged or significant adversity in the absence of mitigating social-emotional buffers.2 Whether those adversity-induced changes are considered adaptive and health-promoting or maladaptive and toxic depends on the context. Similarly, symptomatic children need to be referred to evidence-based treatment programs (eg, ABC, PCIT, CPP, TF-CBT), but these are supplemental to and do not replace either targeted interventions for potential barriers to SSNRs or the aforementioned universal primary preventions. Provide longitudinal experiences that train residents on how to develop strong, trusted, respectful, and supportive relationships with parents and caregivers. Stability of tenure: This principle says employees must have job security to be efficient. Several researchers have noted that many other experiences in childhood are also associated with poor outcomes later in life, and these include being raised in poverty,41 left homeless,4244 exposed to neighborhood violence,4547 subjected to racism,4850 bullied,51,52 or punished harshly.53 This finding suggests that there is a wide spectrum of adversity that runs from discrete, threatening events (such as being abused, bullied, or exposed to disasters or other forms of violence) to ongoing, chronic life conditions (such as exposure to parental mental illness, racism, poverty, neglect, family separation or a placement in foster care, and environmental toxins or air pollution; unrelenting anxiety about a global pandemic, climate change, or deportation; or social rejection because of ones sexual orientation or gender identity). However, policy statements from the American Academy of Pediatrics may not reflect the views of the liaisons or the organizations or government agencies that they represent. Teach residents how to identify and develop collaborative relationships with the local referral resources and early childhood initiatives in their communities. In the case of toxic stress responses, universal primary prevention means trying to prevent the precipitants of toxic stress responses (eg, advocating to address the spectrum of adversities discussed above) as well as promote healthy, adaptive responses to adversity through the provision of social supports that nurture the development of foundational resilience skills (such as task persistence, curiosity, and self-regulation).16,19,59,83, A public health approach to prevent childhood toxic stress is a public health approach to promote relational health. The biological response to frequent, prolonged, or severe adversities in the absence of at least one safe stable and nurturing relationship; these biological responses might be beneficial or adaptive initially, but they often become health harming or maladaptive or toxic over time or in different contexts. In fact, there is increasing evidence that strong social-emotional supports, such as high family resilience and connection and the provision of positive childhood relational experiences, are associated with children who are resilient and flourish despite their level of adversity.59,121 This finding has renewed interest in defining the critical elements that children, families, and communities need to thrive despite adversity.18,19,65,122124 Resilience, for example, is now understood to be the manifestation of capacities, resources, or skills that allow some children, families, and communities to respond to adversity in a healthy, adaptive manner.16,83,124 At the child level, foundational capabilities (such as social skills, emotional regulation, language, and executive functions like impulse inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility, abstract thought, planning, and problem solving) are the building blocks of resilience and need to be modeled, taught, learned, practiced, reinforced, and celebrated.16 A recent literature review identified 5 modifiable resilience factors relevant to clinical pediatric care: (1) addressing maternal mental health problems; (2) encouraging responsive, nurturing parenting; (3) building positive appraisal styles and executive function skills; (4) teaching children self-care skills and routines; and (5) using trauma-focused interventions and educating families about trauma.83 The emphasis on building new skills underscores the AAPs concern that excessive screen time might limit opportunities to develop more adaptive and generalizable skills.125, Flourishing despite adversity is another construct that has been studied. Emphasizing that the vertical integration of this public health approach or the layering of primary, secondary, and tertiary preventions and/or interventions is necessary because the heterogeneity of responses to adversity seen at the population level will need to be addressed through a menu of programs that are layered and matched to specific levels of individual need (universal preventions, plus targeted interventions for those at risk, plus indicated therapies for those with symptoms or diagnoses). ecobiodevelopmental (EBD) framework to stimulate fresh thinking about the promotion of health and prevention of disease across the lifespan. Encourage them to become leaders in interdisciplinary early childhood systems work and vocal advocates for public policies that promote positive relational experiences in safe, stable, and nurturing families and communities. 5, Attachment and the regulation of the right brain, The adaptive human parental brain: implications for childrens social development, Two Open Windows: Infant and Parent Neurobiological Change, The neurobiology of mammalian parenting and the biosocial context of human caregiving, Positive childhood experiences and adult mental and relational health in a statewide sample: associations across adverse childhood experiences levels, Childhood adversity and parent perceptions of child resilience, A systematic review of amenable resilience factors that moderate and/or mediate the relationship between childhood adversity and mental health in young people, A new framework for addressing adverse childhood and community experiences: the building community resilience model, Responding to ACEs with HOPE: Health Outcomes From Positive Experiences, Balancing Adverse Childhood Experiences with HOPE: New Insights Into the Role of Positive Experience on Child And Family Development, Sit down and play: a preventive primary care-based program to enhance parenting practices, Books and reading: evidence-based standard of care whose time has come, Effectiveness of a primary care intervention to support reading aloud: a multicenter evaluation, Differential susceptibility to the environment: toward an understanding of sensitivity to developmental experiences and context, Stress and the development of self-regulation in context, Biological sensitivity to context: II. ACEs are common stressful traumatic experiences which affect children's neurodevelopment. Colocate counseling services (warm handoffs); facilitate, track, and follow-up on referrals offered. The mechanism offers an explanation for the historical trauma. Second, it applies this EBD framework to better understand the complex relationships among adverse childhood circum-stances, toxic stress, brain architec-ture, and poor physical and mental health well into . To promote SSNRs at the practice level, both financial incentives (eg, payment reforms) and enhanced training needs to be provided.162,163 Pediatric providers should be afforded the following: (1) sufficient time with patients and families, (2) the benefit of long-term continuity with patients and families, and (3) opportunities to learn about and practice the interpersonal and communication skills needed to form respectful, trusted, and collaborative therapeutic relationships.162 For parents to trust, pediatric providers need to listen and understand parental concerns and beliefs before making recommendations. Applying a public health approach to the promotion of relational health (see Fig 1) reveals that many of the universal primary preventions for toxic stress are also effective means of promoting the development of SSNRs (eg, positive parenting styles, developmentally appropriate play with others,66,73,74,128 and shared reading129,130). An FCPMH is not a building or place; it extends beyond the walls of a clinical practice. BStC, biological sensitivity to context; PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder. Emerging data supporting a biological sensitivity to context (see the Appendix for a glossary of terms, concepts, and abbreviations) begin to explain heterogeneous responses to both adversity and interventions at the population level.92,131136 Consequently, there is an urgent need for a battery of biological, behavioral, and contextual markers that might better stratify both the risks and predicted responsiveness to interventions at the individual level.37 FCPMHs (see the Appendix for a detailed description) are well placed to begin matching levels of need with specific types of interventions, a process known as vertical integration.82. Without strong therapeutic alliances with patients, caregivers, and families, few of the recommended universal primary preventions will be implemented, few of the targeted interventions will be used, and few of the indicated treatments will be sought. Life Course Theory asserts that non-communicable diseases . In the past decade or so, biomedical researchers have proposed an ecobiodevelopmental framework for studying health and disease across the life course . To translate this relational health framework into clinical practice, generative research, and public policy, the entire pediatric community needs to adopt a public health approach that builds relational health by partnering with families and communities. Ecobiodevelopmental theory asserts that: Early experiences create the structure of the brain. Andrew Garner, Michael Yogman; COMMITTEE ON PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF CHILD AND FAMILY HEALTH, SECTION ON DEVELOPMENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL PEDIATRICS, COUNCIL ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, Preventing Childhood Toxic Stress: Partnering With Families and Communities to Promote Relational Health. Subjective meanings are given primacy because it is believed that people behave based on what they believe and not . But something happened that few predicted. Ecological includes experiences in a child's home environment, such as reading, talking, teaching,. Fortunately, adversity in childhood is only half the story, as positive experiences in childhood are associated with improved outcomes later in life. Other investigators have applied the term ACEs to additional adversities known to affect child health, such as poverty, neighborhood violence, and exposure to racism. Tertiary preventions in the toxic stress framework are focused on the evidence-based practices that treat toxic stress-related morbidities such as anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse disorder. Pediatrics August 2021; 148 (2): e2021052582. Society is currently trending toward division, marginalization, alienation, and social isolation.177 In opposing this trend and calling for a public health approach that builds SSNRs, the AAP is working to translate the latest developmental science into practices and public policies (see Table 2) that build healthy, resilient children. Doing so will require all health professionals to address their implicit biases, develop cultural humility, and provide culturally competent recommendations. But these same changes could be considered maladaptive over time because the higher cortisol levels could impair learning, and the infants irritability could impair the formation of a strong parental bond with the infant. In the immediate vicinity of the child, there are many levels, or systems that can affect and influence the development of children. Repair strained or compromised relationships. Although intensive, capacity-building efforts for parents and other caregivers with limited executive function skills is beyond the scope of most pediatric settings, providing information and support around basic child-rearing practices and establishing daily routines is a cornerstone of traditional primary care. Still other techniques keep the discussion focused, practical, and organized. intel director salary. Developmental science is only beginning to understand the way relational health buffers adversity and builds resilience, but emerging data suggest that responsive interactions between children and engaged, attuned adults are paramount.1,16,114,115 Not only are infants programmed to connect socially and emotionally with adult caregivers,116 but the brains of parents of newborn infants appear to be reprogrammed to connect with their infants.117 Imaging studies of new parents demonstrate changes in several major brain circuits, including a reward circuit, social information circuit, and emotional regulation circuit.117,118 The reward circuit includes the striatum, ventral tegmental area, anterior cingulated cortex, and prefrontal cortex, where dopamine and rising levels of oxytocin interact to make social interactions more rewarding, thereby encouraging more parental engagement in infant care.118,119 The social information circuit includes structures such as the anterior insula, inferior frontal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, and supplemental motor area, which support internal representations of what others may be experiencing and more empathic responses to infant behaviors.118,119 Finally, the emotional regulation circuit includes the amygdala, superior temporal sulcus, temporoparietal junction, and prefrontal cortex, which promote social cognition and a downregulation of the stress response.118,119 The convergent conclusion from these preliminary imaging studies of the parental brain is clear: much like the infant brain, the parental brain is programmed to connect. Build the therapeutic alliance; employ a common-factors approach; explain behavioral responses to stress; endorse referral resources. Preventing childhood toxic stress responses, promoting resilience, and optimizing development will require that all children be afforded the SSNRs that buffer a wide range of adversities and build the foundational skills needed to cope with future adversity in an adaptive, health-promoting manner. Maternal distress mediated links between environmental chaos and children's mental health. Understanding, practicing, and reinforcing executive functions and self-regulation skills (eg, managing strong emotions, ensuring adequate sleep, and getting regular exercise) is essential because all caregivers need these skills to create the kinds of environments in which children thrive.16,37,59 Whether an adult coaching or skill-building component is incorporated within a FCPMH or connected to it in a collaborative manner, the essential role that these programs play in promoting the healthy development of children is clear, especially for those who are the most disadvantaged.1,16. In addition to the domains and timing of chaos, ecobiodevelopmental theory argues that the intensity of environmental chaos is important- that adverse environmental experiences which are deep, prolonged, and extensive are more detrimental to children's health and well-being than unfavorable experiences that . Theories that support a relationship-based framework 1. Ecobiodevelopmental theory asserts that: early experiences create the structure of the brain. Dr Garner collaborated in conceptualizing and drafting this document, took the lead in reconciling the numerous edits, comments, and suggestions made by many expert reviewers, and made significant contributions to the manuscript; Dr Yogman collaborated in conceptualizing and drafting this document and made significant contributions to the manuscript; and all authors approved the final manuscript as submitted. Although this term is frequently used to refer to the childs experiences (child ACEs), it has also been applied to the adversities that parents experienced during their own childhoods (parental ACEs). Part 1 - Overview of Developmental Domains, Periods, and Theories a. Domains of Development b. Acronym for Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up; ABC is an evidence-based program of interventions to assist foster parents in nurturing children who have experienced disruptions in care. culturally effective: the family and child's culture, language, beliefs, and traditions are recognized, valued, and respected. Acronym for the family-centered pediatric medical home; in an FCPMH, the pediatrician leads an interdisciplinary team of professionals providing care that is: family-centered: the family is recognized and acknowledged as the primary caregiver and support for the child, ensuring that all medical decisions are made in true partnership with the family; accessible: care is easy for the child and family to obtain, including geographic access and insurance accommodation; continuous: the same primary care clinician cares for the child from infancy through young adulthood, providing assistance and support to transition to adult care; comprehensive: preventive, primary, and specialty care are provided to the child and family; coordinated: a care plan is created in partnership with the family and communicated with all health care clinicians and necessary community agencies and organizations; compassionate: genuine concern for the well-being of a child and family are emphasized and addressed; and. Consequently, the challenge is not only to prevent a broad spectrum of adversities from occurring but also to prevent them from becoming barriers to the SSNRs that allow individuals from across the spectrum of adversity to be resilient and flourish despite the adversity.17,58,59. Relational health, in the form of at least one SSNR, is a universal, biological imperative for children to fulfill their potential; to be healthy and resilient; to be successful academically, economically, and socially; and, perhaps most importantly, to be the caregivers that value and build SSNRs with subsequent generations.