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This accumulation of stress in children’s lives has cascading effects on brain systems critical to learning, remembering and reasoning.” Claire Berkowitz, head of the advocacy group The Maine Children’s Alliance, said that those effects don’t only hurt the child — they end up in the classroom.“They’re showing up without the cognitive abilities of the kids from a well-resourced home,” said Berkowitz.And there can be advantages in being a single mother, too.

they’re more expensive to educate.” Andrew Schaefer, a research scientist at UNH’s Carsey Center, said that not all children raised by single mothers meet such a fate.They don’t want to appear to be making moral judgments about those they want to help. But dig deep enough, talk to enough experts, review enough academic studies and the name of the problem emerges: too many single parents having children they can’t afford to take care of.A nine-month investigation by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting that included original analysis done for the Center by university sociologists, interviews with state and national experts, days and hours spent with childcare providers, educators and single mothers and fathers reveals that the inability to lower the poverty rate for families with children in Maine is due in large part to a change in the makeup of the state’s families: That’s more than a 500 percent increase in a little more than a single generation.And when children are raised in that kind of poverty and deprivation, their brains are literally harmed, setting the stage for a lifetime of negative effects.Columbia University neuroscience and education professor Kimberly G.

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