The developmental consequences of early exposure to climate change-related risks

Jorge Cuartas, Dana C. McCoy, Isabella Torres, Lindsey Burghardt, Jack P. Shonkoff, Hirokazu Yoshikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The climate crisis encompasses a constellation of risks that threaten human livelihoods, well-being, and survival globally. In this article, we present a new framework based on bioecological and dynamic systems perspectives, and on evidence for conceptualizing how the distinctive dual time frame of both acute (e.g., extreme weather events) and chronic (e.g., ecological degradation) climate change-related risks experienced prenatally and early in life across multiple ecological contexts can threaten human development. We conclude with a call to developmental researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to invest more efforts in understanding and addressing the climate crisis and its developmental consequences to ensure a sustainable future for all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild Development Perspectives
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • climate change
  • climate crisis
  • early childhood development
  • prenatal development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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