How does the social world shape health across the lifespan? Insights and new directions.

  title={How does the social world shape health across the lifespan? Insights and new directions.},
  author={Katherine B. Ehrlich},
  journal={The American psychologist},
  volume={75 9},
  • K. Ehrlich
  • Published 1 December 2020
  • Psychology
  • The American psychologist
Decades of research highlight the connections between stressful life experiences-particularly those experienced in childhood-and physical health across the lifespan. In recent years, studies at the intersection of social and biomedical science have provided intriguing insights into the biological mechanisms that might explain how chronic and acute stressors give rise to health problems, sometimes decades later in life. To date, efforts to understand these connections have relied on a handful of… 

The role of childhood unpredictability in adult health

This research differentiated childhood unpredictability (i.e., perceptions of uncertainty or instability due to turbulent environmental changes) from other related constructs to identify its role in



The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress

An ecobiodevelopmental framework is presented that suggests that many adult diseases should be viewed as developmental disorders that begin early in life and that persistent health disparities associated with poverty, discrimination, or maltreatment could be reduced by the alleviation of toxic stress in childhood.

Rethinking Gender Differences in Health: Why We Need to Integrate Social and Biological Perspectives.

  • P. RiekerC. Bird
  • Sociology
    The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
  • 2005
The case is made that gender differences in health matter and that understanding these differences requires an explanation of why rational people are not effective in making health a priority in their everyday lives, and why neither social nor biological perspectives alone are sufficient to account for them.

Childhood Adversity and Adult Physical Health

Conceptual models that help guide empirical investigation of the processes through which early adversity influences later health are described and biological mechanisms that play an intermediary role in translating psychosocial stress into health problems are reviewed.

Psychological stress in childhood and susceptibility to the chronic diseases of aging: moving toward a model of behavioral and biological mechanisms.

A biological embedding model is presented that maintains that childhood stress gets "programmed" into macrophages through epigenetic markings, posttranslational modifications, and tissue remodeling, and proposes that over the life course, these proinflammatory tendencies are exacerbated by behavioral proclivities and hormonal dysregulation, themselves the products of exposure to early stress.

Adolescent health programs.

This chapter reviews the main direct causes of loss of productive life years among adolescents and the range of interventions to address these causes It pays special attention to sexual and

The conceptual basis for the developmental origins of health and disease

This landmark publication provides the first definitive account of how and why subtle influences on the fetus and during early life can have such profound consequences for adult health and diseases.

A family-oriented psychosocial intervention reduces inflammation in low-SES African American youth

Inflammation was lowest among youth who received more nurturant-involved parenting, and less harsh-inconsistent parenting, as a consequence of the intervention, which has theoretical implications for research on resilience to adversity and the early origins of disease.

Early maternal sensitivity, attachment security in young adulthood, and cardiometabolic risk at midlife

It is found that early maternal sensitivity is negatively associated with cardiometabolic risk at midlife, consistent with the possibility that early parenting has lasting significance for physical health in part by promoting higher levels of secure base script knowledge.

Health in the United States

  • A. Lunde
  • Medicine, Political Science
  • 1968
In the 1980s, interest will undoubtedly focus on minority populations and health, on how the economically disadvantaged may better be served, on the effects of an aging population on the health care system, and on how life-styles which undermine health care can be changed.

Early Parental Loss, Recent Life Events, and Changes in Health among Older Adults

  • N. Krause
  • Psychology
    Journal of aging and health
  • 1998
The findings indicate that the combined effects of early parental loss and recent stressful events are associated with a decline over time in global self-rated health, as well as the number of chronic and acute conditions.