Research Article  |   November 2013
Childhood Toxic Stress: A Community Role in Health Promotion for Occupational Therapists
Author Affiliations
  • Meredith P. Gronski, OTD, OTR/L, is Instructor, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Program in Occupational Therapy, 4444 Forest Park Avenue, Campus Box 8505, St. Louis, MO 63110; gronskim@wustl.edu
  • Katherine E. Bogan, OTD, OTR/L, is Staff Clinician; Jeanne Kloeckner, OTD, OTR/L, is Clinical Specialist; Duana Russell-Thomas, MSOT, OTR/L, is Community Practice Manager; Steven D. Taff, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Director of Professional Programs; Kimberly A. Walker, OTD, OTR/L, is Research Coordinator; and Christine Berg, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Program in Occupational Therapy, St. Louis, MO
Article Information
Health and Wellness / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Departments
Research Article   |   November 2013
Childhood Toxic Stress: A Community Role in Health Promotion for Occupational Therapists
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2013, Vol. 67, e148-e153. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.008755
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2013, Vol. 67, e148-e153. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.008755
Abstract

People who experience the toxic stress of recurrent traumatic events in childhood have a higher risk for mental and physical health problems throughout life. Occupational therapy practitioners have a remarkable opportunity to be involved in addressing this significant public health problem. As health care practitioners already situated in the community, we have a responsibility to lead and assist in establishing and implementing occupation-based programs and to nurture the links between the child welfare system and existing intervention systems. In this article, we review the current research on toxic stress and recommendations made by other health care disciplines and offer strategies for occupational therapy practitioners to begin a dialogue on this critical, emerging issue.