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Poverty Can Affect Size of Kids’ Brains, Study Says

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- A life of poverty has even more detriments than scientists and sociologists ever imagined.

A new study out of Washington University School of Medicine claims that the size of a child's brain can be affected if they grow up poor.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, quotes Dr. Joan Luby as saying, "When you're living in a less stimulating environment, when you're exposed to stresses, traumas and lack of support, your brain develops in a less healthy fashion."

Luby says researchers discovered the brains of poor kids ages 6 to 12 were smaller and less developed than the brains of children living in better socioeconomic circumstances.

But instead of throwing money at the problem to make things right, Luby contends there's a faster way to help kids in need.

According to the study, poor kids who had good, supportive parents showed better brain development over time.

Luby added, "Parenting support should be our next target to prevent poor developmental outcomes for children exposed to these adversities."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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