Categories

Journal Article: Childhood poverty, chronic stress, and adult working memory

Categories

Childhood Development, Chronic Stress, Poverty, Short Term Memory, Income Level, Neurocognition

Authors

Evans, Gary W.; Schamberg, Michelle A.

Published

2009, Apr

Abstract

The income–achievement gap is a formidable societal problem, but little is known about either neurocognitive or biological mechanisms that might account for income-related deficits in academic achievement. We show that childhood poverty is inversely related to working memory in young adults. Furthermore, this prospective relationship is mediated by elevated chronic stress during childhood. Chronic stress is measured by allostatic load, a biological marker of cumulative wear and tear on the body that is caused by the mobilization of multiple physiological systems in response to chronic environmental demands. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA ) (journal abstract)

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