FHS Seminar Series - Helping Children and Teenagers Develop Resilience Instead of Stress

by Dr. Sonia Lupien, Professor, Psychiatry, U Montreal & Researcher, Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal

February 28, 2019

Event Type

Seminar Series


February 28, 2019 at 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Blusson Hall, Room 9920


Contrary to popular belief, children and adolescents are just as capable as adults of experiencing stress and the stress-related health outcomes that ensue.  Exposure to stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and leads to production of stress hormones.  These stress hormones can easily cross the blood brain barrier and access brain regions involved in learning/memory and in emotional regulation. The effects of stress on the well-being of children and adolescents are substantial, as stress has been shown to increase incidence of psychiatric problems at this period of development. In this conference, I will present the state of knowledge on the effects of stress on brain development in children and adolescents and how parental and social influences can shape the stress response in children and teenagers.  In the second part of my presentation, I will describe various types of interventions that are now being developed and tested in my laboratory in order to prevent the effects of early stress on brain development and help children and adolescents develop resilience instead of stress.


Sonia Lupien is director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (www.humanstress.ca) that has for mission to transfer scientifically validated knowledge on stress to the general public. She holds a Canada's Research Chair on Human Stress and is full professor at the Department of Psychiatry of the Faculty of Medicine of University of Montreal.  A scientific researcher for the last 25 years, Dr Lupien studies the effects of stress on the human brain, from infancy to old age.  Her studies have shown that children are as vulnerable as adults to stress and that children as young as age 6 can produce high levels of stress hormones. Greatly involved in the transfer of scientific knowledge, Dr. Lupien is now developing and validating stress interventions for vulnerable populations.

  • This Seminar Series is open to the SFU and the Broader Research Community.
  • This seminar will be webcast and recorded.
  • A light lunch will be available at this seminar.
  • The FHS Research Seminar Series is an Accredited Small Group Learning by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.