The chronic stress of poverty can affect lower cognitive performance - but so can a lot of other kinds of chronic stress
Results of new research in the journal Science (341, 976 (2013) "Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function by Anandi Mani et. al. makes a persuasive case as to how cognitive ability is suppressed by about 16 points on the IQ scale by the stressors of poverty. See also this opinion piece on the topic: http://www.startribune.com/opinion/editorials/224486881.html
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Obviously we can all relate to the reality of how being stressed makes our organizational, thoughts, and performance skills much worse than usual. So, any kinds of chronic stress would likely have the same impact on cognitive abilities, say domestic violence, for example. Chronic illness. The untreated mental illness of a child or parent in the home. I turn all this information and ideas around and around in my mind as I try to affect educational policy changes that are effective, not just hopeful. Please let me know what you think!