The Psychological And Social Determinants Of Poverty On Children
In New Zealand one in four children are living in poverty: that is approximately 270,000 children not having their basic needs of food, shelter, healthcare and education met (Children’s Commissioner of New Zealand 2012, p1). When these needs are not being met, the child is in jeopardy of having a negative impact on their physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. In this essay I will discuss the how society sees child poverty and how it is both politically and socially constructed. I will also highlight the psychological and social determinants of poverty on children and explain the effects of these using theories from Bronfenbrenner and Erikson.
Poverty puts children at a disadvantage; physically they are at higher risk of illness or injury, and with lower test results than more advantaged children, it shows that their cognitive development is also affected (Duncan & Brooks-Gunn, 2000). Hirsch, (2006) stresses that child poverty is associated with a variety of negative consequences such as low birth weight, infant mortality, poorer mental health and cognitive development, and high rates of hospital admissions from a variety of causes; negative social outcomes include leaving school without qualifications, economic inactivity, early parenthood, hunger and food insecurity, reduced life expectancy, and debt and criminal activity” (as cited in Davies, Crothers, & Hanna, 2010, p. 23).
Without resources the child…