Children experience toxic stress if there is pronounced activation of their stress-response systems, in situations in which they do not have stable caregiving. Due to their exposure to multiple poverty-related risks, African American children may be more susceptible to exposure to toxic stress. Toxic stress affects young children’s brain and neurophysiologic functioning, which leads to a wide range of deleterious health, developmental, and mental health outcomes. Given the benefits of early care and education (ECE) for African American young children, ECE may represent a compensating experience for this group of children, and promote their positive development.
Harden, B.J., Feola, B., Morrison, C., Brown, S., Parra, L.J. and Wassman, A.B. (2017), "The Experiences and Effects of Toxic Stress on Young African American Children", African American Children in Early Childhood Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 5), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 165-200. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2051-231720170000005008
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