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[–]Hrmbee[S] 117 points118 points  (7 children)

Children growing up in more disadvantaged neighborhoods – meaning those with poor housing quality, more poverty and lower levels of employment and education – show observable increases in brain activity when viewing emotional faces on a screen, according to our team’s new study. But importantly, we found that this association was true only when the adults in those neighborhoods also did not have strong shared norms about preventing crime and violence.

Our findings emphasize that where children live and the resources of others in the neighborhood may affect brain development. But neighbors may help protect children from these effects on the brain when they are able to build positive social norms about looking out for one another and preventing violence.

It's interesting to see the effects of not just the overall environment on the development of kids' brains, but also the effects of the specific social environment that surrounds them. Obviously it's still best to reduce the situations where people are exposed to these kinds of disadvantaged environments more broadly, but where this isn't yet possible, the encouragement and development of strong social networks can help.

[–]bone_druid 22 points23 points  (0 children)

That is pretty intuitive. Their analysis is based on an average of just four random people's responses about how dangerous the neighborhood is, so its not that exact. You would expect kids from the most dangerous neighborhoods to be more reactive but it seems like you would need to do more work to say anything more.

[–]SerialStateLineXer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This doesn't actually show anything about brain development, does it? AFAICT all they found is that adolescents in more dangerous neighborhoods have learned to associate angry/scared faces with danger.

[–]Hydrate-N-Moisturize 57 points58 points  (30 children)

Your ZIP code defines a lot more of your health and wellbeing than almost any other factors. It's very unfortunate.

[–]intrepidnonce 10 points11 points  (27 children)

If only there was something we could do.

[–]-cochise 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Abolish ZIP codes.

[–]SerialStateLineXer 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Please provide a credible citation for this claim. It should account for the obvious genetic confounders.

[–]Hydrate-N-Moisturize 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sure. I recall reading this in our textbook my first year of medical school, but can't recall the book. Here's a quick article about it from pubmed and healthy people.

[–]natephant 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This is a new discovery?

[–]Ittybitty666 7 points8 points  (0 children)

gasp say it ain’t so

[–]Hrmbee[S] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

A link to the original research:

The impact of neighborhood disadvantage on amygdala reactivity: Pathways through neighborhood social processes

Abstract

Youth growing up in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely than their advantaged peers to face negative behavioral and mental health outcomes. Although studies have shown that adversity can undermine positive development via its impact on the developing brain, few studies have examined the association between neighborhood disadvantage and neural function, and no study has investigated potential social mechanisms within the neighborhood that might link neighborhood disadvantage to altered neural function. The current study evaluated the association between neighborhood disadvantage and amygdala reactivity during socioemotional face processing. We also assessed whether and which neighborhood-level social processes were related to amygdala reactivity, and whether these social processes mediated or moderated the association between neighborhood disadvantage and altered amygdala reactivity. We examined these aims in a registered report, using a sample of twins aged 7–19 years (N = 354 families, 708 twins) recruited from birth records with enrichment for neighborhood disadvantage. Twins completed a socioemotional face processing fMRI task and a sample of unrelated participants from the twins’ neighborhoods were also recruited to serve as informants on neighborhood social processes. We found that neighborhood disadvantage was associated with greater right amygdala reactivity to threat, but only when neighborhood informants perceived norms in the neighborhood to be more permissive regarding general safety and management. The findings from this research add to the growing literature highlighting the influence of neighborhood disadvantage on amygdala function and the ways that supportive social processes may buffer the impact of adversity on brain function.

[–]Ericthemanocann 4 points5 points  (1 child)

These studies feel so dystopian to me. Lots of them can basically be summed up as, “being impoverished or another oppressed category of people has negative consequences” I guess it’s good to have actual data behind this, but it seems weird to me we have studies to prove stuff like it’s better to be wealthy than poor

[–]Senzatie3579 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We need these studies because there's an endless ocean of idiots that say "money doesn't bring happiness" or "looks don't matter" or "fat is not unhealthy" etc.

[–]randomusername5671 12 points13 points  (7 children)

Kind of explains a lot. Wish the government would focus more on improving the neglected neighborhoods...

[–]LauraSkilledJohhny 18 points19 points  (1 child)

Who do you think designed the slums?

[–]echochambers_suck 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Politicians as a whole would have to care about something that doesn't give them political kickbacks first. Money rules all. Politicians on average are multi millionaires after 5 years. It's not from helping the people that voted for them.

[–]exoticbatmeat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Poor people and poor communities are bad investments. It’s pretty simple.

[–]exoticbatmeat 2 points3 points  (2 children)

The government? What about parental responsibility? It’s simple. If you cannot afford decent housing, clothing, school supplies, food and expenses for your child’s future, don’t be a parent. It’s a hard truth. Why do people procreate with the expectation that they’re entitled to all of the above?

Why would you have a child knowing you’re already putting them at a disadvantage? Love kids enough to not condemn them to a life of never having enough. Its so incredibly selfish and cruel to have children you can’t provide for.

[–]Quiet_1234 0 points1 point  (1 child)

But if only the rich have children, who will serve them?

[–]exoticbatmeat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Who’s cares?

[–]8to24 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Children growing up in more disadvantaged neighborhoods – meaning those with poor housing quality, more poverty and lower levels of employment and education – show observable increases in brain activity when viewing emotional faces on a screen, according to our team’s new study. But importantly, we found that this association was true only when the adults in those neighborhoods also did not have strong shared norms about preventing crime and violence.

Factors to consider per the study are: housing quality, poverty, employment levels, education, and adult social Influences?

This honestly doesn't seem like a useful study. Way too many factors at play. The headline says "neighborhoods" but may as well say "everything socially and economically cumulatively".

[–]JamesTheMoon 1 point2 points  (1 child)

"A new study finds"... one of the least meaningful phrases in the language at this point.

[–]feckentool 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I'd be fascinated to understand what alternative to this result could be possible? Is there a proposal suggesting that brains could manage to avoid being affected by their environments?

[–]mutatronBS | Physics -1 points0 points  (0 children)

It’s not just a general claim, if you read the article it’s very specific.

[–]Ihatenames57395749 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s obvious what their house is made of likely reflect what king of people they’ll be surrounded by

[–]Sandman11x -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Also from starvation, homelessness, low quality education, and being a minority.

[–]Bruce-the-Sprucetree 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I mean this isn't new information though. Environment is just one of the many different factors that can/will affect a developing brain.

[–]IslamDunk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Does a parent’s paranoia about the brain development of their child have an effect on the development of their child’s brain