Journal article

Childhood maltreatment, pituitary volume and adolescent hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis -Evidence for a maltreatment-related attenuation

Michael Kaess, Sarah Whittle, Laurie O'Brien-Simpson, Nicholas B Allen, Julian G Simmons



BACKGROUND: Alterations of the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) have been suggested to be related to experiences of early maltreatment. It has been postulated that early stress (i.e., maltreatment) leads to initial hyperactivation of the HPAA, which subsequently may progress to hypoactivation during the course of adolescence, however empirical studies on this hypothesis are rare. In the current study, we aimed to examine the longitudinal relationships between childhood maltreatment, early adolescent pituitary gland volume (PGV) and mid-adolescent cortisol output in an existing data set to explore the utility of PGV as a measure of HPAA function, and as an indirec..

View full abstract


Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; Australia)

Awarded by Australian Research Council (ARC)

Awarded by NHMRC Career Development Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported by grants from the Colonial Foundation, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; Australia; Program Grant 350241) and the Australian Research Council (ARC; Discovery Grant DP0878136). Dr. Whittle is supported by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (ID: 1007716).