According to the 2012 Census report, poverty affects 46.5 million people in the United States alone. Out of the 46.5 million people, 16 million are children. The National Scientific Council report summarized the conditions associated with poverty "as overcrowding, noise, substandard housing, separation from parent(s), exposure to violence, family turmoil," and other stressful conditions. This causes the body to produce cortisol and other stress hormones associated with the activation of the flight or fight system.
The flight or fight system is the body 's way of protecting itself from stressful conditions; however, it is only suitable or beneficial for a short period. However, people in poverty are constantly exposed to those stressful conditions resulting in long term activation of the fight or flight system. The constant activation of the fight or flight system is not only harmful to the physical and mental health of the individual but it can also be harmful to the unborn baby.
The fetal brain develops rapidly and is providing the foundation for future neural processes and connections. Therefore, the fetal environment plays...
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...to high levels of cortisol also result in smaller hippocampus and fewer connections to the prefrontal cortex. Even though the brain is continuously developing throughout life, the crucial stages of development of the brain are as a fetus and between birth and 4 years of age. These two stages of development are important factor in determining how the child will act as an adult and the academic performance of the child.
Even before he or se is born, a child growing up in poverty is set to have many negative consequences. No child should not be allowed to achieve his or her full potential; therefore, poverty especially children living in poverty must be addressed. Children living in poverty not only has negative consequences for the child but also has negative consequences for society as it does not allow the child a fair chance in being allowed to shine bright.
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