Kids in High-Stress Environments May Develop Unique Skills

Kids in High-Stress Environments May Develop Unique Skills

Children who grow up in high-stress environments, such as dangerous neighborhoods or financially insecure households, often are described in scientific literature as being at high risk for learning and behavioral deficits.

Yet, a new research article involving the University of Arizona proposes that greater attention also should be paid to what's right with children who grow up in high-stress environments in order to help them succeed.

Stress-adapted youth may possess traits — such as heightened vigilance, attention shifting and empathic accuracy — that aren't tapped in traditional learning and testing situations. These skills may actually allow at-risk children to perform better than their peers from low-risk backgrounds when faced with uncertainty and stress, suggest the authors of the paper, which appears in Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Having a better understanding of those stress-adapted skills could help populations such as educators more effectively work with children and adults who have grown up in stressful circumstances, said JeanMarie Bianchi, UA psychology lecturer and co-author of the research, which is based on a review of scientific literature.

Read the full story at UA News:

Published Date: 
07/10/2017 - 11:12