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Preventing Internalizing in Preadolescents Exposed to Chronic Stress (BaSICS)

Martha Wadsworth headshot

PI: Martha Wadsworth

NIH R33MH107631
Administered in: College of the Liberal Arts


Childhood adversity leads to premature diseases of aging, most forms of psychopathology, and early mortality. The biological toxicity of chronic stress is a critical conduit of this phenomenon. This new NIMH-funded R33 project will evaluate the psychological and biological outcomes of a new coping-identity-empowerment focused intervention program designed specifically to mitigate the health effects of exposure to chronic stress stemming from poverty, violence exposure, and discrimination. This project uses a randomized clinical trial with 150 economically disadvantaged preadolescents to: (1) test the malleability of the physiologic stress response systems (e.g., HPA) in response to the intervention; and (2) test the extent to which skill acquisition and changes in HPA functioning lead to improved trajectories of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress symptoms over time in youths randomized to the 16-session intervention.

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