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Toxic Stress and Child Development:

Costs, Consequences, and Policy Options


The subject of the seventh Iowa Family Impact Seminar, held on October 22, 2015, was toxic stress in childhood development. The featured speaker was Dr. Pat Levitt.


Dr. Levitt is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University, and serves as Scientific Director of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, a policy council that brings the best research from child development and neuroscience to assist state and federal policy makers and private sector business leaders in making decisions regarding child program investment.


It was followed by a panel, moderated by Dianne Bystrom, that included Janet Horras, Kere Hughes-Belding, and Carla Peterson.


Janet Horras is executive director of the Iowa Department of Public Health's Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. 


Dr. Kere Hughes-Belding is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University.


Dr. Dr. Carla Peterson is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University.


Dr. Dianne Bystrom is the director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University.


The seminar is available to watch below and here.


For more information, please see the following documents:






Levitt Abstract


Briefing Report




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