Low Family Income Affects Kid’s Brain Development

brain development

Lately, an NBCNews article highlighted a study that demonstrates being poor affects the development of kid’s brain. I was literally shocked by this finding. Past research had already told lower income had impact of kid’s success at school or sports. But somehow, I always thought it was because of not enough stimulation in these regards or the lack of concentration caused by poor nutrition.


Cells of Intelligence?

Well, this study goes further. It explains that kids raised in low income families have simpler brain surface than the ones in wealthy families. In fact, the human brain is rather complicated and the links that relate cells to one another are what reflects the intelligence. Kids born and raised in poor families seem to have less of these links, leaving them will less “tools” to achieve success at school, for example.

It does not mean they have less intelligence potential than others. Nothing proves they can’t overcome tough years later on and reverse side effects of poverty. Researchers are not sure what causes this difference. Is it the stress created by the lack of money or the side effects of poverty, like poorer nutrition, less stimulation or different interactions between parents and children that directly impact on their brain’s development?


Being Wealthier for The Ones to Come

No matter what the cause is, I understand better than ever the importance of healthy food, age adapted stimulus, and good parenting skills. Not to mention, of course, that being in a good financial position contributes to the next generation’s future in many more ways that what I used to think.

Making good financial moves as an individual makes a difference for our own kids or the ones who surround us. This is surely not to be underestimated. But making good financial moves as a society can influence the future of a whole generation! That really changes my perspective. Helping people in need creating more wealth seems to be one of the key to really change something.


kid and money


How Much is Enough?

On the other hand, the study shows that when a certain level of wealth is reached, there’s not much progress to make. As if, not only being rich doesn’t automatically brings happiness but it also doesn’t result in more intelligence. Indeed, the difference between the brains of kids in middle and high class was not as notable as the one from low to middle. No need to chase for the typical American dream then! 😉 Meeting ourselves at our needs is what matters.


What About Education?

Nothing is said in regards to education in the article. I personally think that education can also make a huge difference into a child’s life. Knowing these facts make me realise how much harder it might be for less fortunate kids to stay at school. Many of them don’t have confidence because they think they’re not good enough and I now understand better why they feel this way. To me, preventing as many as possible to drop out truly is a way of helping them creating more wealth and overcome the hard years they’ve went through at young age. Not only it does bring greater chances to have a good paying job, but stimulation and learning contributes to creating links between cells.

Simply think about the persons who suffer from Alzheimers and how they are told to keep their brain as active as possible – looking at pictures, doing sudokus, playing cards, etc. – to prevent an accelerated spread of the disease.

Of course, I’m no scientist and I’m making links between facts I’m aware of. Maybe I’m wrong and make false hypothesis. Thing is, I’m a positive person. I need to make hope when I find something is sad! 😉


How do you react to such news?


Image credit 1: MRI of the lateral skull found on nbcnews.com

Image credit 2: Girl with money found on www.ducksinarowblog.com

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