Integrating and synthesizing adversity and resilience knowledge and action: The ICARE model

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This article proposes a model for understanding the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as dynamic and interrelated biobehavioral adaptations to early life stress that have predictable consequences on development and health. Drawing upon research from multiple theoretical and methodological approaches, the intergenerational and cumulative adverse and resilient experiences (ICARE) model posits that the negative consequences of ACEs result from biological and behavioral adaptations to adversity that alter cognitive, social, and emotional development. These adaptations often have negative consequences in adulthood and may be transmitted to subsequent generations through epigenetic changes as well as behavioral and environmental pathways. The ICARE model also incorporates decades of resilience research documenting the power of protective relationships and contextual resources in mitigating the effects of ACEs. Examples of interventions are provided that illustrate the importance of targeting the dysregulated biobehavioral adaptations to ACEs and developmental impairments as well as resulting problem behaviors and health conditions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-215
Number of pages13
JournalThe American psychologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021


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