The YEAH! Network uses research, advocacy, and community education and collaboration to influence policy and practice in adolescent sexual health. By articulating a common agenda among diverse local, state, and national stakeholders, we are working to create an informed, empowered, and engaged response to teen pregnancy and sexual health disparities in Hampden County.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Links between Cumulative Hardships and Health in Low Income Young Children

In an article published in the April 2010 journal Pediatrics, Cumulative Hardship and Wellness of Low-Income, Young Children: Multisite Surveillance Study, researchers found that, "...deprivations in early life can become biologically embedded, forcing children onto negative trajectories that jeopardize their health, their school readiness, and their ability to earn a living as adults. We also know that the remedies for many of these hardships are within reach if our society chooses to prescribe them."

The article focuses on how material hardships in the form of "...lack of access to enough healthful food for an active healthy life...unstable or overcrowded housing...[and] inability of families to afford consistent home heating or cooling" (Science Daily) will negatively impact the physiology of a child.  So, the more exposure a child has to these material hardships, the more likely that child is to experience remedial growth, poor health and poor development.

These findings further support the belief that the earlier a positive intervention takes place in a child's life, the more likely that child will be to live a healthy, successful life.

Journal Reference: Deborah A. Frank, Patrick H. Casey, Maureen M. Black, Ruth Rose-Jacobs, Mariana Chilton, Diana Cutts, Elizabeth March, Timothy Heeren, Sharon Coleman, Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba, and John T. Cook. Cumulative Hardship and Wellness of Low-Income, Young Children: Multisite Surveillance Study. Pediatrics, 2010 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1078

Science News Reference: Boston University Medical Center (2010, April 13). Pediatricians find link between cumulative hardships and health in low-income young children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from­ /releases/2010/04/100412075441.htm#

With thanks to Betty Medina Lichtenstein, who brought this article to the attention of the YEAH! Network.

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