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News from FABBS

Economic Inequality Is Affecting More Than Our Wallets

February 16, 2018

Economic inequality is a growing concern to Americans. Disparities in wealth and education have a real impact on American lives, especially during childhood. Poverty has deleterious effects on early brain development and even genetics, studies show, in part because toxic stress and adversity increase stress hormones.

Prolonged stress response can negatively impact cognitive functioning and mental health. But there is more to the intertwined story of economics and

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To End the Cycle of Poverty, Begin in the Womb

January 9, 2018

We have long known that environmental toxins can have an adverse impact on pregnant mothers and their infants, but it turns out the environment can have a subtler impact than once thought. Chronic, pronounced stress during pregnancy impacts a baby’s brain development in ways that can negatively affect attention, self-control, and behavior for years to come. That kind of stress is more commonly experienced by people living in poverty, and may help to explain the notoriously

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How Nurture Affects Nature

November 15, 2017

Policymakers often debate the merits of programs to change decision-making and behavior, wondering if they have enough bang for the buck. Now there is research showing that the choices people make affect us all the way down to the genetic level, and can even influence the biology of our offspring. Epigenetics is a relatively new field that is illuminating how genes and environment interact. It has changed the nature-versus-nurture debate, replacing it with the understanding

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Why “Just Say No” Programs Don’t Prevent Alcohol Misuse

September 21st, 2017

Youth programs with a “just say no” approach to preventing substance use have proven largely ineffective. Researchers have known this for over a decade, but now studies are helping to explain why. Alcohol misuse results from a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors, those studies find. There is no one reason problems develop “and no one-size-fits all solution to solving them,” according to Jeanne Savage and colleagues in a review

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