Fear, stress among the poor hinder learning

LA Times

Rosemary Clandos, Special to The Times
September 1, 2008

RAISED IN poverty, Dr. Shauna Blake Collins fought fear during nearly 14 years of education. A dropout from a South-Central Los Angeles high school, she earned a GED diploma at 22, became a licensed vocational nurse, a registered nurse, and finally, at 41, a physician. Confidence came only during the last two years of medical school.

“Every step of the way, I was petrified,” says the Winnetka mother of two toddlers, who recently graduated from UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “The pressure I put on myself made me paralyzed.”

Students who grow up amid economic insecurity often face many obstacles: overcrowded schools, lack of enrichment activities, violent neighborhoods. Fear and stress can be two more problems. Brain science is showing how these emotions have effects on the brain and how they can directly impede learning. Some scientists and educators are suggesting ways in which kids and college students can combat the long-lasting effects of poverty-related stress.
Anyone involved in kids and education – needs to read the rest. L.

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.