The term stress is used in different disciplines with varying meanings. Here, the concept of stress is used as it is in biology, psychology, and medicine, describing an internal state of physiological imbalance, which is activating a typical set of responses with the aim to restore physiological balance. While the stress response is generally considered as unspecific and universal, it develops across the life span; furthermore, exposure to adverse experiences during early sensitive periods has long-lasting effects on the stress response in later life. This entry reviews the current knowledge on typical stressors, on stress response, and its regulation and describes the impact of early adverse experiences on the development of the stress response regulation across the life span.

Stress as a biological concept was first ...

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