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May 3, 2010

Influence of Experiences From Birth to 5 Years of Age on Emotional and Psychological Health

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: University of Washington and Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, Washington.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(5):491-492. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.67

When they are born, they can still be perfect. You haven't made any mistakes yet.—Steve Martin, Parenthood

The angst that reverberates in the character of Gil Buckman is not unfamiliar to many parents. Children enter this world sentient, to be sure, but otherwise, at least in parents' minds, entirely undifferentiated, with seemingly limitless potential. When we chose the time from birth to 5 years of age as a critical period of development for our theme issue, we did so hoping to attract articles that advanced the science of early life experience—articles that provided key, actionable evidence of how we can manipulate the early environment of children and make a tangible difference in their health. We clearly succeeded.

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