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Comment & Response
February 2016

Association Between Child Poverty and Academic Achievement

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(2):179-180. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.3856

To the Editor Hair et al1 reported in the September 2015 issue of JAMA Pediatrics on the association between child poverty, brain development, and academic achievement. This study provided evidence that as much as 20% of poverty-associated achievement deficits may be a result of a maturation lag in the frontal lobe, the temporal lobe, and the hippocampus. The authors suggested that the results might underestimate the true effect of poverty on child development because they examined a relatively healthy sample of US children who, for the most part, differ only in terms of family income.

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