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Dr. W. Thomas Boyce presented the Child Study Center 2010 Lois Bloom lecture on September 23

The Biology of Misfortune: How Biology, Behavior and Environment Create the Social Partitioning of Health

Liability to persistent health conditions, such as presyndromal psychopathology, chronic biomedical disease, and developmental disorders, is not evenly distributed within groups of children. Rather, a small segment of the childhood population bears a disproportionate burden of the overall risk for mental and physical morbidities. A growing body of work suggests that this excessive risk for disorder is co-determined by: a) compromised early environments, such as those found in impoverished families and communities, b) experiences of subordination and social marginality, and c) a neurobiological sensitivity to social context operating at the levels of behavior, neural circuitry and gene expression. Taken together, these interactive risk factors delineate a biology of misfortune that places some children on developmental trajectories toward lifelong patterns of ill health and unrealized potential.

View the program flyer.