How Racism Can Affect Child Development


How Racism Can Affect Child Development

2 years ago 2 years ago Published by
This infographic was created by the Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University.


What could our society look like if racial disparities in health and learning outcomes didn’t exist? According to extensive studies, the U.S. would save billions in health care costs alone. The value of realizing the potential contributions of so many people around the world who are impaired by—or die from—preventable chronic illnesses is enormous, and the human costs are incalculable.

Advances in science are presenting an increasingly clear picture of how significant adversity in the lives of young children can disrupt the development of the brain and other biological systems. These early disruptions can undermine young children’s opportunities to achieve their full potential. And, while they may be invisible to those who do not experience them, there is no doubt that both systemic racism and interpersonal discrimination can lead to chronic stress activation that imposes significant hardships on families raising young children.

It’s time to connect these dots. This infographic explains in basic terms how racism in particular gets “under the skin” and affects learning, behaviour, and lifelong health. There is much more to say, but by starting with a shared understanding, we can work together toward creative strategies to address these long-standing inequities.

Center on the Developing Child. (2020). How Racism Can Affect Child Development. Harvard University.

Categorised in: