The Impact of Toxic Stress on Young, Developing Brains


In our May 7, 2019 blog, we introduced the term and concept of ACEs, Adverse Childhood Experiences, along with its companion concept of Toxic Stress. Utilizing a graphic produced by the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University, we began to address how ACEs and Toxic Stress are related.

In an effort to take a closer look at the notion, process, and impact of Toxic Stress, we once again turn to the Harvard Center for the Developing Child – this time utilizing the words of the Center’s Founder and Director, Jack P Shonkoff M.D.

On February 7,2019, Dr. Shonkoff testified in front of the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation during a Hearing on Migrant Family Separation. In the attached six-and-a-half-minute video, Shonkoff gives a succinct and complete description of Toxic Stress and its potentially devastating impacts, especially on the developing brain of young children. It is clearly a must see for all involved with children and Families.





Robert B Hagberg LICSW

Clinical & Strategic Consultant