Rethinking the role of stress in development: Emerging evolutionary perspectives

This webinar – part of LCRN’s series on The State of Life Course Health Development Research – features Marco Del Giudice, PhD.


Dr. Del Giudice is Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. His main research area is the evolutionary study of human development across the life span, with a focus on individual and sex differences and their neurobiological basis. He has published more than 60 papers and book chapters on a wide range of topics, from the biology of developmental plasticity to the classification of mental disorders in an evolutionary framework. With his collaborators he has advanced the Adaptive Calibration Model, an evolutionary-developmental model of individual differences in stress neurobiology, and is testing it in children and adults with a combination of behavioral and physiological methods. He received his PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Turin (Italy), and is associate editor of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.


This webinar explores the influence of stress on development and health from an evolutionary perspective. Current mainstream models are based on the concept of “toxic stress,” and emphasize the disruptive effects of chronic exposure to stressors during development (allostatic load). An emerging alternative approach suggests that the outcomes of early stress may often represent evolved adaptations to challenging environments rather than instances of dysregulation. The webinar presents the main tenets of alternative models and their implications for health development, discusses key empirical findings, and highlights novel directions for research on this crucial topic.


Webinar recording available here

Presentation slides available here