Rush University Medical Center

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New research shows Blacks cope better than others with early childhood adversity

News Analysis

By Michelle Lawrence

Contributing Writer


From ancient philosophers and mystics to modern skeptics and intellectuals alike, the topic of human suffering has spanned the ages and continues to be the source of great contemplation and debate. Why does human suffering exist? Of course I do not pretend to know the answer, but what I do know is that research shows that African American people tend to have a coping mechanism that protects them against the effects of early childhood suffering and defends them against cognitive deterioration in adulthood. According to Lisa L. Barnes, Ph.D., of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and her colleagues, the biological basis of the protective effect of adversity in older African Americans is unknown. Last December, Rush University Medical Center researchers found that older African Americans who experienced adversity and suffering in their younger years lost their cognitive powers at a slower rate than White Americans who experienced similar childhood circumstances. Continue Reading →

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