Source: New Study Examines the Stress of Poverty on Children – Center for Healthy Minds

May 4, 2018

A research team, including Center for Healthy Minds scientist Sarah Short, has been awarded a $2.5 million National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) grant to study the link between poverty and developing cognitive processes that facilitate learning, self-monitoring and decision-making in children.

Short is a co-principal investigator on this project with Cathi Propper, a senior scientist at the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Other key personnel include Roger Mills-Koonce and Michael Willoughby, at UNC Chapel Hill and the Research Triangle Institute, respectively.

“Learning more about poverty’s effects on the developing brain and the influential factors in a child’s home environment that may serve as a protective buffer will help to us advance intervention strategies to better support families and their children.”

This five-year study will be the first to investigate the influence of poverty on children’s brain and behavioral development over the first three years of life. The study will also focus on early experience and environmental factors that are likely to influence both brain and behavioral development. Factors that may serve to buffer the risks associated with poverty include language exposure, caregiver behavior and child sleep routines.

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