Skip to main content

Better Neighborhoods May Buffer Impacts of Childhood Poverty

Low-income children who live in higher opportunity neighborhoods may be protected from some of the negative health impacts associated with growing up poor, according to a new study by researchers at San Francisco State University and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Higher opportunity neighborhoods tend to have more green spaces, better schools and greater access to social services.

Research has shown that children from low-income families are more likely to experience lower birth weight, higher rates of injury, childhood obesity, chronic stress and poorer overall health. In addition, broader environmental concerns such as polluted air are known to have negative health impacts, including diseases like asthma.

But until recently, not as much has been known about the middle-ground influence of neighborhoods. The study is one of the first to look at the influence of both socioeconomic status and neighborhoods on children’s health.

“We know that income is one of the biggest social determinants of health and that it gets more impactful over the life span. So anything that can offset the negative effects of one’s personal or family income, besides raising your income, is notable and important,” said San Francisco State Assistant Professor of Psychology Melissa Hagan.

Hagan conducted the study with UCSF lead author Dr. Danielle Roubinov and three other UCSF researchers. They analyzed 338 kindergarten-aged children from six public schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. They took saliva samples during the fall and spring to measure the children’s levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.

The researchers also looked at parental income and education to evaluate socioeconomic status and used the Childhood Opportunity Index to evaluate neighborhood quality and opportunities like green spaces, social services and schools.

In the fall, the researchers discovered that low-income children living in neighborhoods with fewer opportunities had higher cortisol levels than children from neighborhoods with more opportunities.

In the spring, they found that these same children were in worse physical health as evaluated by teachers and parents than children who lived in higher opportunity neighborhoods, but their cortisol levels were not as high as in the fall.

Hagan says that could be because many children experience higher stress levels at the beginning of the school year than at the end. Still, their cortisol levels were higher than in children from neighborhoods with more resources.

“What’s most important is demonstrating the ways in which income and economic resources can act on health at different levels,” said Hagan. “If children who are living in low-income families can be supported by being in a community that offers appropriate resources, it’s pretty notable that their physical health can benefit.”

Source: San Francisco State University



from Psych Central News https://ift.tt/2sVLVIr
via IFTTT

Become a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; https://www.patreon.com/carlislewellness and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PET Imaging Agent Can ID Good Candidates for Depression Drug

A new brain imaging agent could reveal — before any treatment has been prescribed — whether a patient with major depressive disorder (MDD) is likely to respond to a particular antidepressant, according to a new study published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. No such marker is currently available in clinical psychiatry.Escitalopram (Lexapro), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), can be an effective MDD treatment for some patients, but not all. During  positron emission tomography (PET) test, the tracer 11C-DASB targets the serotonin transporter protein (5-HTT) in the amygdala of the brain, a region associated with emotional processing.In the study, patients shown to have less 5-HTT protein were those who later experienced relief from escitalopram.“MDD is a heterogeneous disorder, which makes it extremely difficult to treat effectively,” said researcher Mala R. Ananth, a graduate student at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y.“Optimizing treatment is challenging a…

Reducing Alzheimer’s Stigma Could Enhance Research

A new study suggests ongoing research on Alzheimer’s disease may be challenged by the stigma associated with the disease. This concern comes from the results of a national survey which discovered people may be afraid to admit they have early stage Alzheimer’s because of fear of discrimination — especially potential limitations on their health insurance.Researchers say these fears can hopefully be overcome by the development of new policies to protect individuals. Nondisclosure of early symptoms that may or may not be Alzheimer’s hinders a individuals ability to obtain timely care. Additionally, a person may miss the opportunity to participate in clinical studies that discover potential therapies.The finding are the results of a national survey about what beliefs, attitudes and expectations are most often associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The survey results appear in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.“We found that concerns about discrimination a…

Hair Pulling, Nail Biting, Skin Peeling and Biting

All my life I’ve bitten my nails. It’s caused me a lot of trouble, especially with my bipolar mother who has always thought screaming and shouting at me (and often a smack when I was younger) would make me stop.At around 7 I also started biting and peeling the skin on my fingers which has caused a lot of social and health issues for me from being to ashamed to join in with prayers at school, to getting my fingers getting a fungal infection causing long lasting damage to my fingers.Soon after I started to pull out the tiny hairs on my legs during school assembles and by 12 I began to pull my eyebrow hair out.How can I stop doing this to myself? I don’t even realise I’m doing it half the time (I started biting the skin around my fingers just writing this and caused it to bleed a little). I’m afraid to bring this up with my parents because of how they have reacted in the past and I’m far too embarrassed to ask anyone I would typically trust. It has severally impacted how I interact with …