Effects Of Racism On Cognitive Development

1990 Words 8 Pages
Racism and racial discrimination have a significant impact on the cognitive development and behaviour of young children. Racism is the belief when one race is superior or more valued than another race. Less valued races are disadvantaged in society as they have fewer opportunities than more privileged groups (Edwards, 2008). When exposed to racism, the cognitive development of a child is affected intellectually, socially and emotionally. These developmental issues are linked to behavioural problems in children, affecting them in childhood and through adolescence. Childhood is a critical developmental stage of a person’s life, the exposure of racism can lead to irreversible effects that affect their cognitive health and behaviour throughout …show more content…
Children who experience racism have higher non-attendance rates and poorer academic results. The 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) surveyed participants from ages of 4 and 14 from remote and non-remote areas as well as discrete communities who had experienced racism. The study found that 11% of participants had experienced racism because of their Indigenous background. The survey also found 34% of participants said it affected their school attendance, while another 17% reported bullying disrupted their academic performance at school. Furthermore, 38% of children surveyed identified that bullying behaviour made it more difficult to participate in sports and other leisure activities while at school, and made it more difficult to make friends and freely play with others. This shows that persistent exposure to racism causes children to avoid school as they try to distance themselves from unsafe …show more content…
Recent child youth health studies have shown loneliness and depressive symptoms are the most likely negative mental health outcomes experienced by children who experience substantial disadvantages when compared with the rest of society. Children whose ideas and feelings are not valued become fearful of expressing their own emotions, depressed, lonely and in the long-term it has a dramatic effect on a child’s confidence (Priest, Paradies, Gunthorpe, Cairney & Sayers, 2009). However, more specific research investigating the impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of children and young people is needed to understand the effects of racism amongst children in relationship to their emotional health (Priest, Perry, Ferdinand, Paradies & Kelaher,

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