Update #6–Back to the Beginning

Hello everyone!

Over the past week, I have worked on wrapping up the writing my first draft and starting the first round of major edits on my paper! Although this was a big milestone, I didn’t really delve into more detailed work this week making it more difficult to come up with a blog post. However, I did have the chance to step back and look at the paper as a whole and remind myself what all of my research was about. When I started brainstorming back in February about what I wanted to write about, I knew that I wanted to study how stress was related to bad outcomes later in life. My wonderful advisor worked with me to develop a project that combined my interest in stress and the research I had been already been working on for the last 2 years. Since then, I have learned so much about how stress affects the body and the mind and how even “normal” levels of stress can have significant impacts on health later in life. For this project, my focus was on how early life stress (ELS) impacted stress regulatory mechanisms. I learned that ELS is an encompassing term that conceptualizes stressors as a scale from “normal” stressors such as familial discord, divorce, and unemployment to severe stressors such as abuse, neglect, crime, and death. Research shows that as stress accumulates (as a person is subjected to more stressors), the risk for mental and physical health problems escalates rapidly. As frustrating and sad as the literature is around this subject, every study is done in order to elucidate more effective and long-lasting treatment and intervention methods. It was refreshing for me to mentally go back to the beginning of my project last week and I’m hopeful that it will propel me towards a productive week of edits!

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