Mother’s self-image affects child’s brain development

A recent study found that children of mothers who saw themselves as having a low social status were more likely to have higher levels of stress hormone cortisol and less activation of their hippocampus (a structure in the brain that is responsible for the formation of longer term memory and reducing stress responses).

The researchers found that both acute maternal education and income relative to family size did not predict the levels of cortisol or hippocampus activation – demonstrating that it is the mother’s perception rather than actual socioeconomic status that impacts upon the child’s development.

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