Childhood Development

708 Words 3 Pages
Throughout human history, our species lived in groups – and not just because people are sociable beings, but because living together increases the chance of survival. Ideally, community provides protection against a constantly changing environment – or at least, tries to ease the hardships caused – and acts as a ’safety net’ in case of members being less well-off than the majority. However, theory does not entirely match reality, as evident in the situation of the poorest in modern societies. As poverty has a long term affect on life, it is one of the most important factors in determining life quality and life expectancy, even if the person affected is not aware of it, through impacting health, which counts as one of the basis of our lives. …show more content…
Someone on a low income is highly likely to lead a stressful life, above average in this aspect, which means they will spend less time with their child and will be less sensitive towards his needs – meaning inconsistent discipline, less interaction triggering the feeling of insecurity in the infant, and a reduced amount of verbal communication (1). The latter results in differences in brain functioning, which predisposes people to a particular level of socioeconomic success (through, for example, impaired language development, especially an undeveloped vocabulary and lack of appropriate phonological awareness, which is crucial to learning how to read), and to a particular SES. Therefore, poverty regenerates itself by generations going round in circles in terms of their socioeconomic status. The feeling of insecurity towards the primary carer leads to impaired social wellbeing (1), which is a precursor of a substantially worse mental and general health. The susceptibility to depression, anxiety and attention problems (i.e. inability to suppress distraction) increase with the duration of …show more content…
The aforementioned are precursors of childhood mental illness and poor school performance include poor nutrition during pregnancy and higher susceptibility to infections (1).

The third factor that has an effect on childhood cognitive development is the environment at home and the cognitive stimulation present (the books, computers available at home, spending quality time together – e.g. going on trips). The role models of the parents have an impact on the personal value system of the child – i.e. whether he will appreciate art (paintings, museums); and whether he will aim for intellectual development. The lifestyle of the parents is closely connected to the role models they take up, and possess a crucial role in the future decisions made by the child.

Even though, the strongest effects can be seen in people, with the lowest levels of SES upbringing, the effects are reversible. Proving the latter, in a ’natural experiment’, a subset of a population (impoverished families) received a sudden income supplement, which resulted in decreased rates of childhood mental health problems

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