Home > Uncategorized > Toxic stress and children’s outcomes: African American children growing up poor are at greater risk of disrupted physiological functioning and depressed academic achievement

Toxic stress and children’s outcomes: African American children growing up poor are at greater risk of disrupted physiological functioning and depressed academic achievement

May 5, 2019

This report describes the relative frequency of toxic stress by race and social class, and shows how it depresses children’s outcomes and contributes to the “achievement gap.” The report includes recommendations for what policymakers can do to mitigate the cognitive, behavioral, and health harm that toxic stress provokes.

The conclusion of the report, provided below in bold italics is unsurprising to readers of this blog or anyone who follows the impact of poverty and race on public education. Each and every solution to the problem, however, requires higher spending and a re-thinking of the role of schools…. both of which seem increasingly difficult to accomplish.

In any classroom, in any school, in any neighborhood of concentrated disadvantage, it is likely that a disproportionately high number of students suffer from the effects of toxic stress. It is more demanding for an educator to teach a single child with such symptoms, and when children suffering from the effects of toxic stress are concentrated in one classroom, or in one school, the effect is compounded, making it more likely that the achievement of all children in that classroom or school will be depressed.

As health care professionals have started to turn their attention to this important problem, so should educators and education policymakers. Short of changing the conditions in which low-income children live, high-quality support for parents and parents-to-be should be accessible. Programs to offset the effects of toxic stress should be deployed in schools of concentrated disadvantage, including programs to effectively support educators. Policymakers should improve public awareness of this insidious morbidity.

Source: Toxic stress and children’s outcomes: African American children growing up poor are at greater risk of disrupted physiological functioning and depressed academic achievement

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized
%d bloggers like this: