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Impoverished lifestyle in childhood may cause psychological damage in adulthood: study

Poor children not only suffer physical problems but are also likely to become the victims of psychological damage during adulthood, says a recent study. The study further added that children with impoverished lifestyle have aggression,
India TV Lifestyle Desk New York January 04, 2017 18:43 IST
India TV Lifestyle Desk

Poor children not only suffer physical problems but are also likely to become the victims of psychological damage during adulthood, says a recent study. The study further added that children with impoverished lifestyle have aggression, and increased feeling of helplessness that may lead to physiological stress in future.

Poor kids also have more chronic physiological stress and more deficits in short-term spatial memory.

"What this means is, if you're born poor, you're on a trajectory to have more of these kinds of psychological problems," said lead author Gary Evans, Professor and child psychologist at the Cornell University in New York, US.

The reason is stress, researchers said.

"With poverty, you're exposed to lots of stress. Everybody has stress, but low-income families, low-income children, have a lot more of it," Evans said. "And the parents are also under a lot of stress. So for kids, there is a cumulative risk exposure."

For the study, Evans tracked 341 participants over a 15-year period, and tested them at ages 9, 13, 17 and 24.

The results revealed that the adults who grew up in poverty had a diminished ability to recall the sequences, tend to be more helpless and had the tendency to give up easily as well as had a higher level of chronic physical stress throughout childhood and into adulthood.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

(With IANS Inputs)