Trends and Directions in Studies of Developmental Risk

Claire B. Kopp

University of California, Los Angeles

Exposure to toxic agents. Use of drugs. Maternal aging. Long term inadequate nutrient intake. Vulnerable genetic background. These are some biological risk conditions that create a hostile womb environment for the developing organism. If embryonic and fetal development are compromised, then all too often developmental difficulties surface during infancy, childhood, or the later years. In fact, risk events that occur during the prenatal period account for most major developmental disorders and some proportion of less serious developmental and behavioral problems. Exposure to biological as well as social risks magnifies developmental ...

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