Adaptive and Maladaptive Aspects of Developmental Stress

Volume 3 of the series Current Topics in Neurotoxicity pp 23-43


Making Sense of Stress: An Evolutionary—Developmental Framework

  • Marco Del GiudiceAffiliated withCenter for Cognitive Science, Department of Psychology, University of Turin Email author 
  • , Bruce J. EllisAffiliated withJohn and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Arizona
  • , Elizabeth A. ShirtcliffAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of New Orleans

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In this chapter we present an evolutionary–developmental framework for individual differences in stress responsivity, the Adaptive Calibration Model (ACM). We argue that the core propositions of the ACM provide a context for the integrative biological analysis of the stress response system, exemplified by Tinbergen’s “four questions” of mechanism, ontogeny, phylogeny, and adaptation. We then show how the ACM can be used to generate novel predictions on responsivity profiles in humans and their development across the life span.