Children raised in poverty or in orphanages experience chronic stress early in life that can have long-lasting effects on the brain, setting them up for future mental and physical ailments as adults, two studies found.
The stress of poverty may affect regions in a child’s brain that control emotion, according to research published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A second study found that children who had lived in an orphanage were more anxious than those who hadn’t.
The stress of poverty may affect regions in a child’s brain that control emotion, according to research published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
In childhood, the brain is still immature and developing rapidly so it is more sensitive to high-stress situations than an adult brain, said Pilyoung Kim, lead study author of the childhood poverty study. The findings from both papers suggest that early intervention programs to address chronic stress may benefit these children, the authors said.
“Long-term exposure to chronic stress is likely to cause wear and tear in children’s physical and psychological systems for coping with stress over time,” said Kim, an assistant professor and director of the Family and Child Neuroscience Lab at the University of Denver, in an Oct. 20 e-mail. “Living in poverty at a young age can cause long-lasting changes in brain development, which contribute to difficulties in regulating of emotions and future devastating health outcomes, including mental illness and high mortality and morbidity in adulthood.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at
via Stress of Childhood Poverty May Have Long Effect on Brain – Bloomberg.
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