Developmental differences in children who have experienced adversity: Emerging evidence and implications for practice

Developmental differences in children who have experienced adversity: Emerging evidence and implications for practice

Sara McLean

This webinar outlined emerging evidence on the impact of early adversity on children’s development and discussed implications for practice.

Developmental differences in children who have experienced adversity

This webinar was held on 2 May 2018.

A full recording of this webinar is available on our YouTube Channel.

The audio, transcript and presentation slides are available under Event Resources on this page.

A list of resources related to this topic is available on our post-webinar forum.

Emerging evidence from the field of trauma and neurobiology shows that childhood adversity and maltreatment affects children’s development and increases their vulnerability for a range of mental health concerns later in life. These developmental differences can include:

  • Difficulty with executive functioning
  • Diminished social reward
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Enhanced threat bias

This webinar outlined emerging evidence on developmental differences in children that are linked to exposure to early adversity and toxic stress. In particular, this webinar highlighted four key developmental differences and the implications for psychologists, mental health social workers and therapeutic specialists.

About the presenters

Sara McLean

Dr Sara McLean is a consultant psychologist and Adjunct Fellow at the Australian Centre for Child Protection. She has worked in the area of child and adolescent mental health since 1997 and has a particular interest in developing effective supports for children in care. Sara has expertise on the psychological issues associated with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and the mental health and behavioural needs of children living in foster and residential care. Sara was the recipient of the ACU Linacre Fellowship at Oxford University in recognition of her work supporting children in care. She consults to government and non-government agencies on children with complex support needs, including high-stakes behaviours.