This two-decade study reveals neural connection between early stress and anxiety and depression in girls.
Keep in mind that this is not the first study to show a connection between developmental stress or trauma and later psychological issues in adolescence and adulthood. Although the study refers to "permanent changes" in the brain because they were present in adolescence, we also know that these changes can be reversed to some degree through focused therapy--particularly through cognitive behavioral approaches including a technique called "mindfulness." Richard Davidson, one of the authors of this study, is also known for his research on mindfulness techniques.
One interesting aspect of this study is that it perhaps helps parse out the differences in how these developmental brain changes due to stress are manifested in girls versus boys.
The author of the report says, "Although there’s no obvious explanation, anxiety and mood disorders are more prevalent in women, whereas antisocial behavior and substance abuse are more common in men." She then quotes one of the researchers who adds: “It fits with the idea that they both feel what’s going on, but have different strategies for expressing their unhappiness and maladjustment."
Also see: Studies Report Early Childhood Trauma Takes Visible Toll On Brain;"