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Nurturing may protect kids from brain changes linked to poverty

A recent study by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed how poverty had a powerful impact on a child’s brain, however, they also discovered that the main driver of changes among poor children in the volume of the hippocampus was not lack of money but the extent to which poor parents nurture their children.    The article ends by saying ” it is vital that society invest in public health prevention programs that target parental nurturing skills.”

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Growing up in poverty can have long-lasting, negative consequences for a child. But for poor children raised by parents who lack nurturing skills, the effects may be particularly worrisome, according to a new study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Among children living in poverty, the researchers identified changes in the brain that can lead to lifelong problems such as depression, learning difficulties and limitations in the ability to cope with stress. The study showed that the extent of those changes was influenced strongly by whether parents were nurturing.

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