A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicates that childhood adversity leaves a mark on the brain, changing regions that process stress and trauma. By analyzing MRI scans, researchers found small differences in certain brain structures that they believe could accumulate over time and lead to mental health problems later. Black children were more affected than white children, largely because of the higher amounts of poverty and adversity they face.

The research joins other studies examining how racism and other social factors may affect the development of the brain, potentially shedding light on racial disparities in other areas.