Poor children are more likely to become unhealthy adults — vulnerable to infection and disease — than kids from higher-income families, according to a new study.
However, the study findings revealed, some disadvantaged children grow up into healthy adults. Their secret: a nurturing and attentive mother.
Upward mobility also has been cited as a reason that children from low-income families become healthy adults, the study pointed out. Yet the researchers found that income in adulthood didn’t offset childhood poverty.
“But those greater risks later in life seem to be offset if the mom paid careful attention to the children’s emotional well-being, had time for them and showed affection and caring,” Gregory Miller, lead study author and psychologist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, said in a news release from the Association for Psychological Science.
For the study, clinicians performed physical examinations on roughly 1,200 adults and researchers rated their socioeconomic status based on level of education. The investigators also surveyed the participants to determine how well their parents nurtured them as children.
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