Childhood family environment, social competence, and health across the lifespan

Linda Luecken, Danielle S. Roubinov, Rika Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Childhood family adversity increases the risk of a wide range of psychological and physical health problems later in life, prompting research into developmental pathways linking childhood experiences to adult health. The current paper discusses a social-biological pathway by which childhood family relationships influence the development of the social and emotional skills necessary for adaptive behavioral and biological responses to stress. Failures in the development of social and emotional competence during childhood may lead to dysregulated responses to stress and difficulties in social relationships across the lifespan. Over time, the cumulative impact of dysregulated stress responses and low social support may increase the risk of mental and physical health problems later in life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013


  • Childhood adversity
  • cortisol
  • health
  • social support
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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