A report by the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences has found that growing up poor, with the stresses that poverty can cause, greatly influences brain function as an adult.
Dr. K.Luan Phan, senior author on the study said:
Our findings suggest that the stress-burden of growing up poor may be an underlying mechanism that accounts for the relationship between poverty as a child and how well your brain works as an adult,” (source)
On the surface this may seem like just another research project telling us something we already knew but it raises the issue in the mainstream. Poverty in the United States is growing, and growing fast. If the findings of this research are accurate then millions more people are going to find life as an adult more vexing, more difficult than they would have done previously.
Phan also cited:
The amount of chronic stress from childhood through adolescence — such as substandard housing, crowding, noise, and social stressors like family turmoil, violence or family separation — determined the relationship between childhood poverty and prefrontal brain function during emotional regulation. (source)
The correlation between the conditions in the latter quote and a dysfunctional adulthood have been known for some considerable time. Many of these go hand in hand with poverty. By putting them all together you end up with a situation where millions of children are going to grow up with a skewed view of the world.
We all know that there are those families who chose not to work, who chose to lead a less than ideal lifestyle, but this report has major implications for those families who have tried their best, but failed.
Those people who have lost their jobs and cannot find another one, those people whose children have seen them doing the figures night after night trying to make their income stretch enough to provide food that week.
Hundreds of thousands of kids who have seen their homes foreclosed upon, and see those houses sitting empty day after day, rotting away because the banks wouldn’t assist their parents.
The impact of all this is bound to have a lasting effect on these children, their parents and wider family. What we are seeing and experiencing now is going to have ramifications for the future, major ones, but sadly now the snowball is already rolling down the hill and there is little that can be done to stop it.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!