The Effects of Early Adversity on the Development of Inhibitory Control: Implications for the Design of Preventive Interventions and the Potential Recovery of Function

  • Philip A. Fisher
  • Jacqueline Bruce
  • Yalchin Abdullaev
  • Anne M. Mannering
  • Katherine C. Pears


Because of their exposure to severe early adversity and the heterogeneity of these adverse experiences, foster children are an important population in which to study the associations between stress, alterations in underlying neural systems, and subsequent developmental and psychosocial outcomes. Moreover, inasmuch as the US foster care population numbers over half a million children and the needs of these children are not always met by existing service delivery programs, there are scientific and public policy reasons to pursue this work. In this chapter, we describe the results of a research program involving young foster children that has focused on the following three areas: examining how variations in dimensions of early adverse experiences are associated with specific negative developmental and psychosocial outcomes; identifying neural deficits associated with these negative outcomes; and conducting randomized clinical trials of preventive interventions with dual goals to improve developmental and psychosocial outcomes and examine the potential for recovery of or improved functioning in the underlying neural systems. The specific focus of this chapter is our investigations of inhibitory control within the context of this larger research program. We provide an overview of the research program and guiding conceptual model, summarize the studies focused on inhibitory control, and discuss the implications of this work for science and public policy.


Anterior Cingulate Cortex Inhibitory Control Foster Care Allostatic Load Flanker Task 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip A. Fisher
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jacqueline Bruce
  • Yalchin Abdullaev
  • Anne M. Mannering
  • Katherine C. Pears
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  2. 2.Oregon Social Learning CenterEugeneUSA
  3. 3.Center for Research to PracticeEugeneUSA

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