Our Lab

The Developmental Psychobiology Lab focuses on stress and mental health outcomes during early childhood.

Early Life Stress

In North America, approximately one quarter to one-third of all pregnant women experience some form of psychological stress during pregnancy. Although some forms of mild stress may actually be beneficial, exposure to high levels or persistent stress during gestation significantly increases the risk for the emergence of emotional, behavioural, and cognitive disorders in children. The Developmental Psychobiology Laboratory seeks to discover how stress during gestation and in the early years becomes biologically embedded in children’s development. Our objectives are to understand the risk and resilience factors that exacerbate or mitigate the effects of stress on children’s development. Thus, research in the Developmental Psychobiology Lab clusters around two major themes:

 

1. Understanding the biological mechanisms that project the effects of early experience onto future development.

2. Understanding the biological, psychological and social factors that interrupt or transform the negative effects of stress.

 

By understanding how stress 'gets under the skin' of children and what modifiable factors may prevent or ameliorate these effects, the overall aim of Developmental Psychobiology Lab is to improve the health and developmental outcomes of children exposed to early life adversity.

Publications

For a selection of Dr. Giesbrecht's Peer-Reviewed articles, choose a link from the list below.

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PubMed

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Google Scholar

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ResearchGate

Funding Partners and Affiliations

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Alberta Health Services Logo
Alberta Innovates Health Solutions
Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research
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