Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Poverty Deadlier Than Drugs Against Young Minds, Lives

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 23, 2013

Remember the Great Crack Scare of the 1980s? The one that was going to lay waste to a whole generation of inner-city black kids?

Guess what — turns out that if that generation was laid low, it was not by drugs but by poverty:

Hurt’s study enrolled only full-term babies so the possible effects of prematurity did not skew the results. The babies were then evaluated periodically, beginning at six months and then every six or 12 months on through young adulthood. Their mothers agreed to be tested for drug use throughout the study.

The researchers consistently found no significant differences between the cocaine-exposed children and the controls. At age 4, for instance, the average IQ of the cocaine-exposed children was 79.0 and the average IQ for the nonexposed children was 81.9. Both numbers are well below the average of 90 to 109 for U.S. children in the same age group. When it came to school readiness at age 6, about 25 percent of children in each group scored in the abnormal range on tests for math and letter and word recognition.

“We went looking for the effects of cocaine,” Hurt said. But after a time “we began to ask, ‘Was there something else going on?’ ”

While the cocaine-exposed children and a group of nonexposed controls performed about the same on tests, both groups lagged on developmental and intellectual measures compared to the norm. Hurt and her team began to think the “something else” was poverty.

But of course to acknowledge that might make the one-percenters a tad nervous that you might want them to give up their extra house in the Hamptons or Gstaad to do something about it, and since they control the nation’s discourse, they won’t let you see this story on the evening TV news.

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