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Intervening to enhance cortisol regulation among children at risk for neglect: Results of a randomized clinical trial

  • Kristin Bernard (a1), Mary Dozier (a2), Johanna Bick (a3) and M. Kathleen Gordon (a2)
Abstract

The hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis is particularly sensitive to conditions of maltreatment. In particular, neglected children have shown a flatter slope with lower wake-up values relative to nonneglected children. An intervention, the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC), was developed to enhance biological and behavioral regulation in young children at risk for neglect. The effectiveness of the intervention was assessed in a randomized clinical trial for children with involvement with Child Protective Services. Following the intervention, children receiving the ABC intervention (n = 49) showed more typical cortisol production, with higher wake-up cortisol values and a steeper diurnal slope, than children receiving the control intervention (n = 51). These results suggest that the ABC intervention is effective in enhancing biological regulation.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Kristin Bernard, Psychology Department, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794; E-mail: kristin.bernard@stonybrook.edu.
References
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