Intergenerational transmission of stress vulnerability and resilience

Mallory E. Bowers, Rachel Yehuda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Empirically, it is clear that a number of psychiatric disorders develop from the interaction between genes and environmental exposures, specifically extreme stress or trauma. Accumulative evidence also suggests that stressor and trauma-related exposures prior to conception may additionally contribute to risk for various psychiatric disorders and/or other disease states. Although human studies have focused on maternal effects, animal research has begun to capitalize on the accessibility of germ cells, particularly in males, to determine the extent to which stress is transmitted across generations via epigenetic changes in gametes. Although data across species support the hypothesis that stress exposure in parents is associated with various changes in offspring, clear evidence of a mechanism for intergenerational trauma is still lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStress Resilience
Subtitle of host publicationMolecular and Behavioral Aspects
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780128139844
ISBN (Print)9780128139837
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Cortisol
  • Epigenetics
  • HPA axis
  • Offspring
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Trauma


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