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Urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s exposure to stressful events: a cross-sectional study

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Adverse life events and chronic stressors experienced during early childhood can negatively affect development.1,2 While some exposure to stressful events can foster resilience,3 exposure to strong, frequent or prolonged stressors in childhood can result in dysregulation of physiological stress response systems,2,4 which can negatively affect the development of social and emotional wellbeing, behaviour, literacy, and physical and mental health.2,4,5 With the strong association between racial inequalities in health and chronic stress,6,7 the inequalities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples compared with non-Indigenous Australians need to be considered in this context.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience higher rates of stressful events than the general population, which can, in part, be attributed to the lasting impact…