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Sharon DuPree

Life is Stress: The Impact of Poverty on Childhood Brain Development

by Sharon DuPree January 19, 2011
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Think of the most stressful moments of your life– the times when you’ve felt the most anxious, the most afraid or the least confident. Imagine that argument with your spouse just before leaving home in the morning, only to be rear-ended by the aggressive tail-gater and then arriving at school to teach that class of antsy third graders or administer an important test. How would you do? Children in poverty—children who come from family environments plagued by unemployment, abuse and neglect, chronic housing mobility and the like—suffer stress levels higher and more chronic than the exceptional “bad morning.” This stress has a profound impact on their cognitive abilities.

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