Can a Difficult Childhood Enhance Cognition?


From The Atlantic: Over the past few decades, numerous studies have documented the negative impacts of childhood adversity, indicating a correlation between growing up in an unstable environment and impaired brain development, lower test scores, and poorer executive functioning. However, more recent studies are beginning to show that people who have experienced childhood adversity may also have unique strengths and enhanced cognition in some areas.

“’We have been documenting deficits in children from high-stress backgrounds forever,’ said Bruce Ellis, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, who was not involved with the study. ‘We fill libraries with all the things that are wrong with them. But this paper was the first systematic attempt to understand what was right with them.'”

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