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A violent environment can wreck kids' grades

from Medical Xpress

Kids in violent neighborhoods often do worse in school. Now, a new study helps explain why. U.S. researchers found that exposure to violent crime changed kids' sleep patterns, which increased their levels of the stress hormone cortisol. "Both sleep and cortisol are connected to the ability to learn and perform academic tasks," said study lead author Jenni Heissel, of Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy in Evanston, Ill. "Our study identifies a pathway by which violent crime may get under the skin to affect academic performance." Previous research has found a link between violent crimes and performance on tests, but it wasn't clear why crime affects academic achievement, Heissel said in a university news release. more


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