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Department of Psychology pres.

Developmental Brown Bag: Neurobiological Mechanisms Linking Poverty to Youth Socioemotional Development

Dr. Arianna Gard, NICHD Posdoctoral Fellow, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research

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Abstract:
Nearly 20% of children in the United States live below the federal poverty line. Growing up in impoverished contexts is associated with myriad psychosocial adversities, all of which dramatically increase risk for psychopathology across the lifespan. One proposed mechanism by which environmental stress becomes biologically-embedded to predict maladaptive developmental outcomes is via alterations in brain function. In this practice job talk, I will present my research program linking poverty and poverty-related adversities to corticolimbic function during socioemotional processing. Using harsh parenting and neighborhood disadvantage as examples, I show that developmental timing is an important consideration for elucidating the effects of childhood adversity on corticolimbic development. Additionally, in an application of the model of Differential Susceptibility, I will highlight how amygdala reactivity during face processing may serve as a plasticity marker by moderating behavioral responses to socioeconomic resources.
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