The claim that extra money with parents actually changed babies’ brain now has scientific evidence. The study finally puts an end to an age old question on whether the financial situation of the parents truly matter or not when raising babies.
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It is quite obvious that if the parents of a child have a good source of income, it offers great benefits to the child. However, a new landmark study has established a direct correlation between brain development of the child in the very first year and money available with parents. This can be considered as the first direct experimental evidence to show how poverty leads to such changes.
The research is still ongoing.
“We have known for many years that growing up in poverty puts children at risk for lower school achievement, reduced earnings, and poorer health,” explains neuroscientist Kimberly Noble from Columbia University.
“However, until now, we haven’t been able to say whether poverty itself causes differences in child development, or whether growing up in poverty is simply associated with other factors that cause those differences.”
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A thousand low-income mothers were recruited shortly after their baby was born, for this study. These parents were from New Orleans, New York City, Omaha or Minneapolis/St. Paul.
By random selection, these mothers were given either USD 20 or USD 333 per month for the first 4 years of their babies’ lives.
It was found that babies of low-income mothers who had received lower cash payments showed lower frequency brain activity than the babies whose mothers had got higher amounts of money.
Researchers think that it is possible that higher frequency brain activity led to better cognitive development. However, more research is said to be needed to correctly ascertain the same. It is being ascertained if lower mental stress of parents had anything to do with heightened brain activity of the baby.