Research on Poverty’s Affect on the Brain

Recent articles highlight the research on the link between poverty and brain development and function.  In summary, poor children whose parents were not very nurturing were likely to have less gray matter, which is linked to intelligence, and white matter, which is linked to the brain’s ability to transmit signals.  These children also showed greater problems regulating their emotions as adults.  Finally, a series of experiments showed that poverty imposed such a burden that there was little mental capacity left to accomplish fundamental life skills, let alone tasks that might lift the person out of poverty.  See these articles for more:

The Lasting Impacts of Poverty on the Brain by Emily Badger summarizes the research paper, Effects of Childhood Poverty and Chronic Stress on Emotion Regulatory Brain Function in Adulthood by Pilyoung Kim, Gary W. Evans, et. al.  Both were cited by the Washington Post “Know More” section.

How Poverty Taxes the Brain, by Emily Badger, summarizes the research paper, Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function, by Anandi Mani, Sendhil Mullainathan, et. al., 341 Science, 976-980 (August 2013).

Nurturing Parents Shield Child’s Brain from Poverty, posted by Jim Dryden from Washington University in St. Louis, summarizes the research article, The Effects of Poverty on Childhood Brain Development: The Mediating Effect of Caregiving and Stressful LIfe Events, by Joan Luby, M.D.; Andy Belden, Ph.D.; et. al., published by JAMA Pediatrics.  Bloomberg.com also published a summary of the research, Poverty, Neglect in Childhood Brain Size, by Nicole Ostrow.

This entry was posted in Child Development, Mental Health, Poverty and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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