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posted by mrpg on Thursday June 10, @10:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the that-explains-mine dept.

A link between childhood stress and early molars:

"I've long been concerned that if kids grow up too fast, their brains will mature too fast and will lose plasticity at an earlier age. Then they'll go into school and have trouble learning at the same rate as their peers," says Mackey, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Penn. "Of course, not every kid who experiences stress or [is] low income will show this pattern of accelerated development."

What would help, she thought, was a scalable, objective way -- a physical manifestation, of sorts -- to indicate how children embodied and responded to stresses in their world. Eruption timing of the first permanent molars proved to be just that.

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Mackey, with doctoral student Cassidy McDermott and colleagues from Penn's School of Dental Medicine and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, shows that children from lower-income backgrounds and those who go through greater adverse childhood experiences get their first permanent molars earlier. The findings, generated initially from a small study and replicated using a nationally representative dataset, align with a broader pattern of accelerated development often seen under conditions of early-life stress.

Journal Reference:
Cassidy L. McDermott, Katherine Hilton, Anne T. Park, et al. Early life stress is associated with earlier emergence of permanent molars [open], Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2105304118)


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @03:41PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @03:41PM (#1144264)

    I'd say the problem might in fact be the other way around: today's kids, by comparison raised in insulated bubbles, have such delayed mental maturity that they never do really grow up.

    This is definitely true. Here in Germany, kids climb trees and when they fall, the parents laugh. In US, kids go down the street to the library and the police is called due to child abandonment. Anxiety drives anxiety. It's no wonder that a nation of addicts is the result of simple inability to cope with their circumstances.

    But one thing I've noticed in America. The summer of silence. No kids. Kids no longer go play outside alone.