How Growing Up In Poverty Negatively Alters Your Brain

Poverty effects on children's brainsCrucial parts of the human brain are poorly connected in children of poverty, yet another study finds.

fMRI scans of 105 kids from seven to twelve indicated weaker associations in the hippocampus and amygdala.

The hippocampus is an important component of the brain linked to the storing of memories and the management of anxiety.

The amygdala is linked to handling feelings and stressors.

Poverty stricken kids showed the worst connectivity in the hippocampus and amygdala.

Being poor was likewise linked with elevated reports of depression.

[The US government poverty line for a house of 4 is $24,250 a year.]

Kids brought up in such circumstances are at a higher risk of developing mental illnesses and acting out.

Moreover, these children perform worse in school and on tests measuring thinking ability.

The lead researcher, Professor D. M. Barch said:

"Many things can be done to foster brain development and positive emotional development.

Poverty doesn’t put a child on a predetermined trajectory, but it behooves us to remember that adverse experiences early in life are influencing the development and function of the brain."

If these outcomes are to be avoided, it is clear that interventions into the children's lives should be taken on as early as possible.

The study was distributed in The American Journal of Psychiatry.


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