Being Poor Makes You Stupid

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Rob Lister
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Being Poor Makes You Stupid

Post by Rob Lister » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:29 pm

Okay, maybe a little more nuanced than that.

Here's the short of it....
Brain Scans Reveal How Poverty Hurts Children's Brains

Children in households below the federal poverty level—an annual income of about $24,000 for a family of four—had gray matter volumes 7 percent to 10 percent lower than what would be expected for normal development. About 20 percent of American children lived at this income level in 2013, according to Census data. Smaller gaps were evident for households considered "near poor," making up to 150 percent of the poverty level, currently about $36,000 for a family of four.

Kids living just above the "near poor" level looked statistically similar to children from much wealthier families.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... n-s-brains

Obviously, 'being poor' is relative to those that are rich, so causation is a bit crusty. I don't know about the methods and how they relate to reality. This isn't telling us anything new but it does indicate a physiological issue. I'm not sure that tells us much that is new either.

Give it a read with your meter attached. Tell me what you think.

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Re: Being Poor Makes You Stupid

Post by Anaxagoras » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:09 am

I've often thought that being stupid tends to make you poor (plenty of exceptions to this rule though of course; just on average). And not to imply that being rich means you are a genius.

Another study I seem to remember said that poorer kids hear fewer words during the time when their brains are forming. The earliest years I think are probably the most important. Kids need the right kind of mental stimulation for their brains to develop. Emotional bonding is also important. So neglect is probably a big predictor for not being as smart and other problems.
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Re: Being Poor Makes You Stupid

Post by Doctor X » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:22 am

I blame the Hip Hop.

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Re: Being Poor Makes You Stupid

Post by Rob Lister » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:59 am

Pollak and his colleagues used data and brain images from an earlier National Institutes of Health study that tracked several hundred children and adolescents over several years. That study excluded people with learning disabilities, premature births, or family histories of psychiatric problems, because it was intended to measure a baseline for normal brain development....
First thing is they've got a Pollak running this study. Okay fine but moving on.

Perhaps they should not exclude those with learning disabilities. Wealthy people will get their kid diagnosed. Poor people will just say, 'Yea, he ain't all there, but we love him all the same.' So more dumb rich kids get excluded.
... As a result, Pollak says, the sample included "the healthiest, most robust children living in poverty."
Would you draw that conclusion from that criteria? It certainly favored those that had access to that level of medical diagnosis. The richer you are the more likely you have the insurance to cover that procedure. The poorer you are the more likely you have to be really fucked up to get that procedure. Not sure.
What accounts for the differences? Pollak suspects that poor children “are getting too little of things we need to develop the brain and too much of things that inhibit brain growth.”
Or it could be that dumb women tend to marry dumb men and have dumb babies.
Pollak says the research has made him think of poverty as a medical problem, akin to exposure to lead paint, rather than strictly a social condition.
I think Pollak might be a smart guy with an agenda.

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Re: Being Poor Makes You Stupid

Post by sparks » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:09 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:I've often thought that being stupid tends to make you poor (plenty of exceptions to this rule though of course; just on average). And not to imply that being rich means you are a genius.

Another study I seem to remember said that poorer kids hear fewer words during the time when their brains are forming. The earliest years I think are probably the most important. Kids need the right kind of mental stimulation for their brains to develop. Emotional bonding is also important. So neglect is probably a big predictor for not being as smart and other problems.
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