Center on the Developing Child

How Poverty Affects the Brain

Growing research shows that poverty and the conditions that often accompany it—violence, excessive noise, chaos at home, pollution, malnutrition, abuse and parents without jobs—can affect the interactions, formation, and pruning of connections in the young brain. Center Director Jack Shonkoff was interviewed for this story and shared insight on how we can use this new knowledge to transform educational and social policies by focusing on helping parents and caregivers during the first five years of a child’s life.

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