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Analysis of Childhood Poverty as a Disease Essay Example

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Analysis of Childhood Poverty as a Disease

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Analysis of Childhood Poverty as a Disease. Toxic stress is the excessive and protracted activation of a child stress-response system from the brain, such that both the body and brain are exposed to extreme levels of stress hormones, particularly the cortisol and norepinephrine stress hormones (Klass para 9). This is largely due to strong, recurrent and prolonged deprivations outcomes like physical abuse, persistent neglect due to economic difficulties, exposure to substance abuse, violence, as well as emotional abuse. Klass argues that the distinctive set-up of childhood as a critical phase of child physical growth, mental and emotional development makes children susceptible to social effects of poverty. Since the brain regions that are responsible for controlling attention while regulating behaviors are made difficult by stress, the young child experiences difficulties in linking different sections of their brains in order to decipher or store information.

Furthermore, given that the child has not developed adequate protection from high amounts of these hormones, it leads to the resetting of both neurological and hormonal structures, which in return permanently affects the child brain (Klass para 9). Consequently, the children brains experience damaging outcomes such as deprived cognitive outcomes leading to high exposure to mental disorders, antisocial behaviors, poor academic achievement and an increased likelihood of school dropout (Klass para 8). Notably, Klass observes that when there are no buffering relationships the toxic stress reactions often take place continually, hence generating cumulative effects on the child physical condition such as lifelong mental health problems, obesity, heart disease and weakened systems. Klass points outs that some studies even show that such exposure to toxic stress due to poverty goes on to affect the child genes since it scripts the child lived from a drive towards determination towards patterns of dissatisfaction and deprivation (para 10). Analysis of Childhood Poverty as a Disease.

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Works Cited

Klass, Perri. "Poverty as a Childhood Disease." The New York Times 13 May 2013: D4.
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