Future-Forward: Innovations for a world that does not yet exist

Poverty Permanently Damages Early Childhood Development

Recent studies show that poverty has permanent damaging effects on children, affecting their social and physiological health for the rest of their life. Most notable damage is language and memory, attributed to excessive levels of stress hormones in the body. This does not even take into account damaging effects of inadequate nutrition or environmental toxins attributed to low socio-economic status.

Jack Shonkoff, director of Harvard University’s centre on the developing child, said policymakers had to take note of the research because “the foundation of all social problems later in life takes place in the early years.”The earlier you intervene [to counteract the impact of poverty], the better the outcome in the end, because the brain loses its plasticity [adaptability] as the child becomes older,” he said.

Article published by the Financial Times.


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This entry was posted on February 23, 2008 by in poverty alleviation and tagged , , .
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