A study of the relation between poverty and brain development

Are callous unemotional traits all in the eyes?

A study of the relation between poverty and brain development

Open in a separate window Abbreviation: Estimates of the direct and indirect mediated through influence on structural brain development effects of low income on a standardized test of achievement are shown.

Mean SD tests scores are standardized [15]. Standard errors have been bootstrapped. Discussion Although the income achievement gap is well documented, the question of how childhood poverty is translated into deficits in learning and academic achievement is largely unanswered.

With the current data, we demonstrated that children from low-income households exhibit atypical structural development in several critical areas of the brain, including total gray matter and the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, and hippocampus.

Our study had 2 limitations worth noting. First, it is possible that reported differences across socioeconomic groups could have been caused by a third factor tied both to family poverty and smaller regional gray matter volumes, such as a genetic predisposition that might have led an individual to become poor.

Our analyses mitigated concerns related to this competing explanation. Second, the National Institutes of Health study was designed specifically to study typical development; therefore, children were screened based on factors thought to adversely affect brain development.

However, such adversities are disproportionately represented among impoverished children, meaning that this study examined a sample of children who were likely doing better than most children living in poverty.

Our work suggests that specific brain structures tied to processes critical for learning and educational functioning eg, sustained attention, planning, and cognitive flexibility are vulnerable to the environmental circumstances of poverty, such as stress, limited stimulation, and nutrition.

Such understanding should lead to public policy initiatives aimed at improving and decreasing disparities in human capital.

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Supplementary Material Click here to view. Footnotes Supplemental content at jamapediatrics. The funders had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

This article reflects the views of the authors and may not reflect the opinions or views of the National Institutes of Health. A listing of the participating sites and a complete listing of the study investigators can be found at http: Drs Pollak and Wolfe had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Study concept and design: Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Drafting of the manuscript: Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Administrative, technical, or material support: Consequences of Growing Up Poor.

Russell Sage Foundation; Haveman R, Wolfe B. Restuccia D, Urrutia C.

Baby’s Brain Begins Now: Conception to Age 3 | Urban Child Institute

Intergenerational persistence of earnings: The importance of early childhood poverty. Fletcher J, Wolfe B.As exposure to poverty is well known to be strongly associated with a variety of negative life experiences, the role that these risk factors appeared to play in the relationship between poverty and alterations in brain development elucidates more .

A new study shows that poverty may have a direct impact on the early development of the brain, with children from poor families lagging behind in two key regions of the brain.

In the current study, we tested whether atypical structural development in several areas of the brain tied to school readiness skills may have mediated the relationship between childhood poverty and impaired academic performance.

The present study examined the impact of intensive arts integration on school readiness for economically disadvantaged children attending Head Start preschool.

Early Childhood Poverty Damages Brain Development, Study Finds. Poverty affected growth in parts of the brain involved in stress regulation, emotion processing and memory. Overall, Noble’s work adds to a growing body of research showing the negative relation between poverty and brain development and these findings may explain (at least in part) why children from poor families are less likely to obtain good grades at school, graduate from high-school or attend college.

A study of the relation between poverty and brain development
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