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Gary Evans

Gary Evans

Cornell University
Fellow, 2021-22

While it may seem obvious that growing up in a disadvantaged household challenges the development of healthy children, scholars and laypersons alike frequently relegate socioeconomic status to a background factor – something that must be controlled for while examining more “critical” variables influencing child development.  One result of this tendency is the absence of a scholarly monograph on poverty and child development. During the year, Gary Evans will work on a book about poverty and child development examining biology, brain, physical and mental health sequelae of early disadvantage. One of the reasons poverty and other forms of disadvantage are bad for children’s development is because of the plethora of risk factors they and their families endure.  Thus, the book will also explore underlying biological and environmental factors that can help us understand underlying processes linking childhood disadvantage to human development.

Evans is the Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of Human Ecology in the Cornell University College of Human Ecology. Current research with his students includes empirical work on childhood poverty and developmental trajectories; children’s environmental exposures (e.g., housing quality, environmental stressors, chaotic households) and children’s stress and socioemotional development.  He is also doing exploratory work on what young children understand and feel about climate change.

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