What Poverty Can Do to the Brain of Children

I have been writing extensively about how creating healthy environments for the brains of our children is so important to their ability to regulate, be cognitive, learn and grow.  The research is pretty clear that when traumatic events happen to children, they tend to have all kinds of problems in their brain capacities.

Differences in brain sizes of children who live in poverty

child's brain and poverty
Research shows an impact on a child’s brain when a family has a low income.

One of the saddest evidences of this type of research is the impact of poverty on our children. Children who live in poverty have all kinds of stressors that can impact their brain development. In fact, the actual physical size of the brain is smaller.

So many factors can contribute to this phenomenon: nutrition, attachment issues, chronic stress, and trauma, to mention a few. The following article provides insight into research  being conducted on this topic. I find it both compelling and very sad.

Here is the article by Sara Reardon,  of Nature News.

It is so easy to stereotype families who have been victims of poverty. No matter why a family is in poverty, it is important to recognize that their impoverished state has a profound impact in the capacity of children to have a normal brain and function in school, community and life.

The more we can reduce poverty the more capacity our children will have.  Programs that help families escape the plight of poverty are actually helping children become more capable to find success and hope in their lives by giving them better developed brains.

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network


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