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.

Science tells us that we need to protect young brains from adversity to help them thrive in school and life. Working together toward our goal of reducing poverty in Washington State by 50% by 2025 allows us to create an upward spiral of possibilities to help ensure every child is able to achieve their full human potential.

-- David Stillman, Assistant Secretary for the Department of Social & Health Services Economic Services Administration