Biological alterations affecting risk of adult psychopathology following childhood trauma: A review of sex differences

Ashwini Tiwari, Andrea Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Childhood trauma exposure is a significant public health problem. While adult mental health consequences of such experiences are well documented, sex differences in both prevalence and severity are less understood. Sex-based differences in biological circuitry and physiological trauma responses are proposed to potentiate the differential risk for pathogenesis of mental health disorders among adults. This paper will provide a contextualized summary of neuroendocrine, neuroimaging, and behavioral epigenetic studies on biological sex differences contributing to internalizing psychopathology, specifically posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, among adults with a history of childhood abuse. This review concludes with a discussion of implications for trauma interventions and sex-based biopsychological research in violence prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Volume66
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Childhood trauma
  • Corticolimbic system
  • Epigenetics
  • HPA axis
  • Internalizing disorders
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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