Archive for the ‘toxic_stress’ Category

Pediatricians on the Frontlines of Poverty

March 10, 2016early childhood, home visiting, toxic_stress

When taking your child to the doctor for a well-child visit, the appointment normally includes a physical exam, checking your child’s growth and development, vaccinations, and asking your doctor any questions you may have. Now, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) is recommending that doctors add another component to these visits: screening for poverty.

In 2014, 21.1 percent of children in the U.S. (under 18 years old) lived in poverty.[1] This number was even higher for young children under the age of five (23.8%).[2] Furthermore, 42.9 percent of all U.S. children were living “in households designated as poor, near poor, or low-income” (i.e., households with incomes up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Line).[3]

These families often struggle to make ends meet and may be just one crisis away from falling into poverty. An expansive body of research has identified the potential detrimental effects of poverty on children. As the new AAP policy statement highlights, poverty, especially early in life or as experienced for an extended period of time, is associated with increased risks of adverse health, developmental, and social and behavioral outcomes over the course of a child’s life.[3]

“The impact that poverty has on physiology in childhood is pervasive,” says Dr. Racine, chair of the AAP Poverty and Child Health Leadership Work Group

As a part of their effort to reduce poverty and its negative effects on child health, the AAP has made new recommendations for pediatricians that feature opportunities for policy advocacy and community practice, including (but not limited to):

  • Advocating for continued investment in evidence-based programs that assist both children and their families, including quality early childhood programs like home visiting, two-generation strategies, child and maternal health programs, and programs that address needs in community infrastructure, among others;
  • Creating a “medical home” in which medical team members understand the challenges faced by poor families and are “sensitive to the needs of families living in poverty;”
  • Screening for “risk factors within social determinants of health during patient encounters” by asking patients and family members if they have unmet basic needs;
  • Collaborating with and linking families to early interventions and community partners who can help address families’ needs; and
  • Identifying “family strengths and protective factors,” such as “cohesion, humor, support networks, skills, and spiritual and cultural beliefs,” to empower families to use these strengths to address problems. [3]

Given the share of children living in or near poverty, the AAP’s recommendations have the potential to help curb the negative effects of poverty in many children’s lives. A Washington Post article from earlier this week noted that a recent randomized controlled trial “showed that when clinicians screen for social determinants like unmet basic needs, their patients received more community resources than controls.”[4]

In publishing these recommendations, the AAP has taken an important step in recognizing the negative impacts of poverty on our society, and the important link a pediatrician is for a family to other resources and supports in their community.

Related Resources: CFRP Toxic Stress 101 Storify,  CFRP Toxic Stress infographic, Home Visiting in Texas 

 

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Sources:

  1. DeNavas-Walt, C. & Proctor, B. D. (2015). Income and poverty in the United States: 2014. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/incpovhlth/2014/index.html
  2. U.S. Census Bureau (2015). POV01. Age and sex of all people, family members and unrelated individuals iterated by income-to-poverty ratio and race. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032015/pov/pov01_000.htm
  3. AAP Council on Community Pediatrics (2016). Poverty and child health in the United States. Pediatrics, 137(4), 1-14.
  4. Blakemore, E. (2016, March 9). Doctors should screen for poverty during child-wellness visits, American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/03/09/doctors-should-screen-for-poverty-during-child-wellness-visits-american-academy-of-pediatrics-recommends/

 

Post Event Wrap-up: Toxic Stress and Early Childhood

November 18, 2014cfrp, early childhood, events, home visiting, toxic_stress

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Toxic Stress and Early Childhood: What Policy Makers and Funders Need to Know

Friday, November 14, 2014 – Texas State Capitol Auditorium & Legislative Conference Center

The Child and Family Research Partnership at The University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, TexProtects, and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) co-hosted the event to inform policy makers, professionals, and academics about the impacts of early childhood adversity on physiological development.

Opening remarks were provided by Representative John Zerwas (Texas House of Representatives, District 28), and the the keynote speaker was Dr. Andrew Garner, one of the nation’s leading pediatric neuroscientists studying the effects of toxic stress on early brain development.

Sasha Rasco (Director of Prevention and Early Intervention and Contract Performance, DFPS), Sarah Abrahams (Director of Health Coordination and Consumer Services, HHSC), Madeline McClure (Executive Director, TexProtects), and Associate Professor and CFRP Director, Cynthia Osborne provided insights on the implications for Texas children and families.

Presentations from the event:

Related Resources:

 

Please contact info@childandfamilyresearch.org if you have questions.

Infographic – Toxic Stress: Here Today, Here Tomorrow

November 10, 2014early childhood, home visiting, infographic, toxic_stress, visualization

Research shows that toxic levels of stress in early childhood can result in physiological changes that increase the risk of cognitive and physical developmental problems in adolescence and adulthood. The infographic below, “Toxic Stress: Here Today, Here Tomorrow” illustrates what toxic stress is and its impacts, and also highlights some findings in Texas.

CFRPInfographic_ToxicStress_112014

 Click for the PDF of “Toxic Stress: Here Today, Here Tomorrow.”

For a more about toxic stress, go to our  Toxic Stress 101 Storify with links to research and news stories on the topic.

 

 

Special Event – Toxic Stress and Early Childhood: What Policy Makers and Funders Need to Know

October 24, 2014cfrp, early childhood, events, toxic_stress

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Toxic Stress and Early Childhood: What Policy Makers and Funders Need to Know

Friday, November 14, 2014 – 9:00 am – 1:00 pm – Texas State Capitol Auditorium & Legislative Conference Center | 1100 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX

The Child & Family Research Partnership at The University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, TexProtects, and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission are hosting this special event. Opening remarks will be provided by Representative John Zerwas (Texas House of Representatives, District 28). Our keynote speaker is Dr. Andrew Garner, one of the nation’s leading pediatric neuroscientists studying the effects of toxic stress on early brain development.

Lunch is provided. Click here to register. Click for parking and event maps.

Want to know more about Toxic Stress and Early Childhood before the event? CFRP has developed a couple of handy resources - Toxic Stress 101 Storify with links to research and news stories on the topic and an easy to read Toxic Stress infographic.

AGENDA

Morning Sessions – Texas Capitol Auditorium (E1.004)

8:45 – 9:15 am

Check-in (outside Auditorium)

9:15 – 9:30 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks - Representative John Zerwas, District 28

9:30 – 11:00 am

Peering into the Black Box: Understanding the Link Between Significant Adversity or Violence in Childhood and Poor Adult Outcomes - Dr. Andrew Garner, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.P

11:00 – 11:25 am

Question & Answer Session
Afternoon Sessions – Legislative Conference Center (E2.002)                     

11:30 pm

Lunch Provided

11:30 – 12:00 pm

Agency Presentations – HHSC/DFPS Prevention Initiatives - Sarah Abrahams, Health and Human Services Commission; Sasha Rasco, Department of Family and Protective Services

12:00 – 12:15 pm

Early Findings of the Texas Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program - Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D., Child & Family Research Partnership at UT Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs

12:15 – 12:45 pm

Progress of Home Visiting in Texas - Sophie Phillips & Madeline McClure, TexProtects

12:45 – 1:00 pm

Next Steps and Close

More about Dr. Andrew Garner

Andrew Garner, MD, PhD, FAAP, is a primary care pediatrician with the University Hospital Medical Practices and Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. A vocal advocate for investments in families with young children, Dr. Garner is active in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), both at the chapter level, as well as nationally. He is vice president and president-elect for the Ohio AAP Chapter and is the chair of the AAP Early Brain and Child Development Leadership Work Group, as well as a member of the AAP Epigenetics and Poverty and Child Health Leadership Work Groups, two other AAP strategic priority areas. He also served as a member of the national AAP Committee on the Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. In addition to his medical degree in pediatrics, Dr. Garner also holds a doctorate in neuroscience, both from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

CLICK TO REGISTER

 

Click for parking and event maps.

 

Please share with your colleagues! Contact events@childanfamilyresearch.org if you have questions about this event.