Science Fact

The Brain and Poverty

  1. Several studies have now uncovered a link between socioeconomic status and brain development.
  2. On average, children from lower-income families appear to have a thinner cortex in early childhood than their peers from more affluent homes.
  3. Although the best strategy for mitigating the effects of early deprivation is prevention—in this case, tackling child poverty at a societal level.
  4. The longer we wait to get started, the more intensive the effort we may need to counteract the effects of early adversity.
Source: Gabrieli, J. D., & Bunge, S. A. (2017, January). The Stamp of Poverty. Scientific American Mind, 54-61.

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Washington Frontiers of Innovation

Washington Frontiers of Innovation (WA FOI) is a partnership established in 2011 between The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and Washington State stakeholders.  WA FOI develops, tests, and refines program level and system and policy level science-based portfolios of activities targeting improved outcomes for at risk and vulnerable children, youth and families.  Our aim is to re-envision early childhood investment to stimulate creativity and support experimentation in order to produce significant, population-level change.

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Perhaps most important is the unequivocal conclusion that what happens during the first months and years of life absolutely does matter.

-- From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development