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Cal Study: Poor Kids Lack Brain Development

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posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 11:44 PM
reply to post by Unlimitedpossibilities

I disagree.

The mobility was there, I just observed a lot of kids opting not to take it.

There were a number of staff members within the school that were hired specifically to help kids get into trade schools, and even a few classes that would have allowed these students to graduate with trade degrees, if they studied.

There was an entire file cabinet that these students could have applied for, many of them specifically for low-income students, if they chose to pursue higher education.

Despite this many of them simply did not give a care about their future. For many of them school was just a chance to socialize an they didn't think beyond that. I don't know whether they simply didn't care or were unable to see beyond what pleased them at the moment, and I think some of them did have a stupid idea that they could support themselves indefinitely with illicit activities.

I may be sidetracking the OP a bit but many of them seemed openly opposed to the kind of learnign that would get them through school, into a career.

I don't know why they were like this, but my point is, the "road" to success was there for them, but they chose not to take it.

posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 11:46 PM
oh for goodness sake, those people who are minimising this article or claiming the findings are bs...

Its a fact if a child does not get enough calcium they can develop osteoporosis later in life even in childhood there bones break very easily. If a child lives on sweet drinks they get cavities... plenty of examples... it is just a matter of cause and effect. Action and consequence. Simple. What makes the brain any different from any other part of the body? Fatique is reduced when you eat... children are more perceptive, alert if they have eaten. Many children in Australia were going to school without eating breakfast. It became a National initiative to re educate families, address this problem.

I am not surprised to read this at all... perhaps you would be interested in studying the MRI's of abused neglected children. Really is there for all to see.

posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 11:46 PM
Originally posted by WyrdeOne

Lets see. Love your post. Star!

Check this thread out

And an old thread of mine about "a before pregnancy study"

Can someone please give me the blue pill back.....

[edit on 2-12-2008 by Unlimitedpossibilities]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 12:00 AM
reply to post by asmeone2

Actually. I get what your saying and I think we are actually in agreement. Given what WyrdeOne stated, I think the same way as he or she. So if you agree with what he or she said then we agree.

I am aware that there are exceptions.

The mobility was there, I just observed a lot of kids opting not to take it.

I am sure this is the case many times but I am thinking more on an majority level. It also depends on how poor we are talking here. I mean, poor who can afford 2 non-organic meals a day for there family are probably the gray areas or the medians. So if your thinking below or above that let me know.

EDIT: or rather lets stipulate what poor is shall we?

Despite this many of them simply did not give a care about their future. For many of them school was just a chance to socialize an they didn't think beyond that. I don't know whether they simply didn't care or were unable to see beyond what pleased them at the moment, and I think some of them did have a stupid idea that they could support themselves indefinitely with illicit activities.

I would definitely say I was near sighted in high school. I will explicitly come out and say I was very foolish, and needed someone to tell me what to do on every level. I only cared about socializing, having fun, and making friends.

Personally, I think non-organic and high sugar foods put us in a dream state (at least me anyway). If low-income schools have low value foods, the foods usually compensate with sugar from what I have seen. Frankly, I was a sugar addict when I was in high school because I was not informed of any other way to eat.

I am done rambling. Cya

[edit on 3-12-2008 by Unlimitedpossibilities]

[edit on 3-12-2008 by Unlimitedpossibilities]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 12:01 AM
reply to WyrdeOne

Although I agree that the results were in many ways predictable, I still think this study is important. Politically, because it demonstrates that by age 10 there is an actual biological handicap (statistically speaking – of course individuals will vary) correlated with poverty. Perhaps it will help lay to rest the idea that people who don't work their way up out of poverty are just constitutionally lazy.

Scientifically, because now they can move on to the "why" and "how can we change it" questions.

Reading through the article, it appeared to me that they had controlled for factors like race and family size, but again this is such a small study that you can't make any specific predictions anyway.

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Basically, nothing has changed in the last ~3000 years, and we should all just stop trying to equate technological progress with social progress. Welcome to Feudalism v.

Here I disagree. What has changed from the last 3000 years is that we now have an increasing gap between the poor and the well-off, in terms of education, technological skills, and even brain function – all in a world that is increasingly dependent on the ability to successfully navigate complicated and ever-changing landscapes. In other words, unless we can do something to stop this process, we can look forward to a future where technological progress is equated with social inequalities.


EDIT: to address issue raised by Asmeone

I think this study is perfectly reconcilable with your experience that the low-income kids did not take advantage of opportunities for social advancement even when they were offerd. They have a built-in block to socioeconomic mobility if these findings are correct, and the fundamental lack in brain development has to be addressed before we start trying to force them into college.

[edit on 12/3/08 by americandingbat]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 12:16 AM
reply to post by Unlimitedpossibilities

I am going to have to be cantankerous and say while I agree with WO that factors in diet and family environment may set the stage for the kid having a rough time in life, they do not effect the kid so completely that he can't choose to overcome his limitations.

It's like the "fat gene" argument. Someone with a family history of obesity isn't doomed to be fat. They will probably have to be extra careful in their habits, but they can remain healthy if they choose.

As for what constitues "poor," that is difficult to say, because poor means different things for diffrent people, for some it's no food for others it's no cable.

So I can't give a number but the specific demographic were the kids of every shade who followed the "Gang banging" culture. Most of these were poor enough to face some disadvantage, not all of them were "poor" in the starving sense though.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 12:28 AM
reply to post by asmeone2

I am going to have to be cantankerous and say while I agree with WO that factors in diet and family environment may set the stage for the kid having a rough time in life, they do not effect the kid so completely that he can't choose to overcome his limitations.

Hmmmm. I think I can agree with that, if I think in the long run. I guess volition and how informed one is also comes into play.


I think genes may be in a different realm since WHICH food we eat does not directly depend on one's genes, but one's decisions. I guess you could say the genes that determine one's part of the brain that deals with decisions may equate genes and food, but only indirectly.

Right. What constitutes "Poor" is definitely relative.

Well. I would be a charlatan if I continued with this discussion any further. Research for me is needed. But later. I must partake in some sleep.


[edit on 3-12-2008 by Unlimitedpossibilities]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 09:55 AM
reply to post by asmeone2
By high school many of the kids are programed to tune out. Like Weird One said there is a prevailing attitude of "born trash ,die trash". Children from poor families die a death of a thousand papercuts. Even people from really good families can be swept under the rug if their parents do not stubornly persue scholarships and see to it their kids take the right classes. No, not all councelors want to help your beloved child go to Harvard.

You are right though there are teachers or mentors out there who seem to have the power to turn kids who are on a one way course to no wheres and help them become successful inspite of being dumbed down. Usually this happens when the poor child is lucky enough to have a support system outside of school such as a good YMCA program ,or a good church(not a brain washing cult) urging the kid to not give up. This is the definition of serendipity.

The great teachers would have an easier time helping their charges if the kids were not dammaged by poisons. The food industry should not be allowed to get away with murder just because really great teachers like ,Ann Sullivan ,can teach anyone to become great. There are not enough great teachers to correct all the damage that is being done. The number of people who can teach at that level is actually pretty rare.

[edit on 3-12-2008 by eradown]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 11:23 AM
reply to post by americandingbat

No, it was not directed at you. We are in agreement.

Nice added info as well.

It was a general throw down to hopefully keep the thread on topic. I thought it was steering towards the completely unfounded "this study is bs" claims.

This is a very deep and telling study considering all the information in these post from these people with all different aspects and views and facts based on personal experiences.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 11:36 AM
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

One small point to make here; the people doing the study come, on the whole, from the "higher/smarter" socio economic class, therefore the study very well could have some unintended bias.

"Successful" people have a desire to find a reason/logic to validate their success; to credit a reason for their position in life to more than the work and industry of their forebears. The study, done by what should be seen as a somewhat elitist group, is designed, IMO, to validate their own perceptions of their place in society.

Again, I doubt this was a conscious bias, but that fact would have little bearing on the outcome of the statistics found in this very limited study. It's well to keep in mind that "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics."

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 11:51 AM
reply to post by NGC2736

I agree with you about the tendency of studies to confirm what the researchers want to believe about themselves, but in this case I think the bias only enters when we start hypothesizing about what causes the discrepancies, and in the assumption that the discrepancy matters.

The press release only says that the study has been accepted for publication, so I guess we'll have to wait and see the results, but the fact that they could measure a substantial difference in reaction time between two sets of children faced with the same task seems pretty definitive.

Once the article starts linking that with behavioral problems associated with frontal lobe damage or underdevelopment they're in the realm of conjecture. And any attempt to decide exactly what it is about being poor that causes the difference is conjecture.

But really, what this study confirms is that it is down to the hard work and success of their forebears that these scientists are successful now.

[edit on 12/3/08 by americandingbat]


posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 12:26 PM
reply to post by RFBurns

Something changed since Einstein : Poor families eat highly poluted food - the junk of the junk. Becouse this is all they can buy. I see here in the UK, the more uneducated people are, the more likely their kids will have mental disorders and will be fed with lowest quality foods. Actually a study in the UK shows that even smoker parents is bad enough to reduce the food income for their kids!

On the other hand, rich families are able to buy Organic, they could be more able to also understand nutrition and ballance etc.

I somehow "predicted" that the human race will one day split into 2 species, based on the involution for the lower classes (due to the food polution etc) as well as helped by the future biological enhancements that will be accesible to rich people . I hope I am rong as I will not quallify for the rich elite ..

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 12:36 PM
I theorized upon this subject a few years ago in Skunkworks...I am pleased (personal pride) and disappointed (as opportunity is not as equal as ideology proclaims) that I seem to have been correct.

Subtle Evolutions

The problem with this is that we as a society are turning into different types of human. As I figured in the above thread, the lower classes will be more concerned with repetitive behaviour in the context of survival; i.e. many live from paycheck to paycheck to pay bills. The upper class have the luxury of exploring the world more and are as well without a very real concern for their day to day living situation.

The difference is between waking up each day and going through the motions and waking up each day to live.

Good Find...

Edit for Spelling.

[edit on 3-12-2008 by MemoryShock]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 12:41 PM
reply to post by baseball101

Although I make no assumptions as to what causes what (does high brain function cause high income?) it is easy to imagine that children who grow in families where money is not a concern can get more direct attention from their parents, who make sure they do their homework and provide education and entertainment.

But I think it is more likely that income level does not have to be at the extreme for proper brain development. At some point there's got to be a diminishing rate of return.


posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 12:46 PM
Makes sense to me. The children of families that are better off generally have the genes and the means to be more intelligent.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 12:47 PM
I can completely agree with this study for one main reason..

Rich kids usually have parents who have acquired higher levels of education, while poor families are usually a result of lack of education. This means that growing up in a family where the parents have a masters or Ph.D, obviously the child will learn more advanced forms of problem solving, grammar, and so on due to constantly being around well educated parents. On the other hand, the poor families often never went to college, or lack the ambition, knowledge, or general know-how to succeed in life. This means the children growing up in that environment learn what their parents learn, essentially not much.

Think of it like this, a child of a doctor vs the child of a burger king cook :

Doctors child:
- advanced science,
- advanced grammar,
- better schooling,
- playmates are raised the same,

Burger king child,
- very little science if any,
- most likely poor grammar,
- cannot afford the best schools,
- playmates in same position,

I look at how my sister is currently raising her child, teaching him spanish and english by the time he is 3, has money to afford electronic math, grammar, and science games, can afford to send him to a good pre-school, spends time at home with him instead of working 7 days a week to try to make ends meat.

A poor child would not have many of these chances, and therefore I can see how it makes sense that they do not develop the same way as a more well off child. I think the difference between middle class and rich would be very small, but a child of poverty really has a different environment from birth until schooling - which are some of the most important years of a childs life.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 12:50 PM
reply to post by rickyrrr

It should be noted that high income does not guarentee high brain function. If children learn their behaviour through observation and instruction from the parents then a low income family can produce a high brain functioning individual.

The study is reflecting inclined results that are without a proactive parenting approach.

I think we can all agree that the majority of low income families are mostly versed in low effort (mentally speaking) careers and have little time to interact with their families beyond a mutual identification with pop culture.

These days in the lower class it's Brittany and American Idol rather than A Tale Of Two Cities and Ulyssess.

I think that is the relevant aspect of this study.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 01:03 PM
I think this study is pretty accurate. People in this thread say things like Einstein and Tesla weren't from affluent families so it's all rubbish, but they're looking at a few anomalies. Bill Gates dropped out of college so does that mean everyone should drop out? Just because you're from a rich family doesn't mean you'll be smart, but I would say overall the chances are better. Most of the points have been made but I'll hit them again. A rich family can provide more opportunities and stimulus than a poor family. Just take summer vacation for example. The rich kids probably go to foreign places, attend camps, see tutors etc A poor kid might be left alone to watch mindless tv while the parents work. Malnutrition is also a huge thing and just imagine being hungry trying to learn not to mention deficiencies in things vital to optimal brain function. The parents education level also plays a pretty big part. For one thing if the parents have advanced degrees etc chance are the same is expected from the children and the standard is set very high from the beginning. I would also imagine as other have already stated that educated parents would expose their children to more stuff from books and technology to advanced ways of thinking, vocabulary etc.

[edit on 3-12-2008 by warpboost]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 01:16 PM
The most notable aspect of his study is that it based on developmental dynamics and does not delve into the genetic or the pre-disposed. Doing so would open an ethical and sociological pandoras box.

I guess what we're really talking about here is "potentiality" and how a child's environment (nurture) affects brain development.

Still I think the sample of subjects (26) is way too small to make a clear determination. A child's socioeconomic status has different affects in varied circumstances. For example, an inner city child living below the poverty threshold may have fewer, or at the very least different, opportunities for mind development than let's say a child growing in a farm under the same economic hardships. Differentiation of environmental stimuli must be taken into account into any study attempting to quantify child development. With such a limited sample, any result is bound to be too broad and inconclusive.

[edit on 12/3/2008 by schrodingers dog]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 01:25 PM
I'd like to see rich families start "adopting" poor kids. You don't have to take them away from their parents, but you can kind of take them in and provide for them the same nutrition and mental stimulation that rich kids receive. When these children are successful, they can be shown off as examples of what can be achieved by such an approach. The only way we are going to solve these problems is one child at a time.

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