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Kathy Marshack News

The Long-Term Effect of Poverty on the Brains of Children

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


poverty effects child's brain

Poverty may actually be changing the brains of children as they respond to the stressful circumstances found in the low socioeconomic status. Research has found that the cortex thickens when children are exposed to factors such as stress, poor nutrition, lack of healthcare, and environmental toxins such as second-hand smoke. 


It’s indisputable that living in overcrowded, dangerous neighborhoods without adequate education or parental warmth will cause more stress. However, the stress in the children of these recent studies is disproportionately magnified. (To learn about these studies, read the article – How Poverty Might Change the Brain at CNN.com)

The good news is that researchers have found that “later enriching experiences can at least partially compensate for the effects of early-life stress on the hippocampus.” The brain compensates by creating new pathways. If you would like help to change how you think about yourself and your life, speak to a mental health care professional. The many forms of Psychotherapy available have helped thousands to overcome negative childhood experiences smoothing the progress toward full, rich lives.

For more information, visit my website – Depression & Stress or contact my office to set up an appointment.

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