Today's post is authored by Social Construct Project Group Member Jack Palmer.
Stress is an everyday part of life. Despite appearing paradoxical, stress can be healthy while also teaching us how to handle life’s challenges. However, chronic high-levels of stress can become very harmful to nearly every aspect of a person’s life. Growing political debate and concern around the world regarding wealth disparity and healthcare reform, should prompt us to investigate how chronic socioeconomic related stress is affecting children who live in poverty.
“The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation. Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body and the brain, with damaging effects on learning, behavior and health across the lifespan. Yet policies that affect young children do not address or even reflect awareness of the degree to which very early exposure to stressful experiences and environments can affect the architecture of the brain, the body’s stress response systems, and a host of outcomes later in life.” (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2014)