The Effects of Child Poverty on Their Cognitive and Social Development Essay

Words: 1689
Pages: 7

The Effects of Poverty on Children’s Cognitive and Social Development

Sheehan Gilbert-Burne
Word Count: 1650

Question 2: Discuss the effects of poverty on children’s cognitive and social development and the extent to which effects might extend into adulthood

Poverty is a global issue that has been at the forefront of economic debate for over a century. Left wing politicians and anti-poverty organisations around the world still adamantly fight for a more equal economic split, pointing towards research showing the disadvantages poverty creates for those living in it. This research has grown rapidly since the 1970’s and many different factors have been targeted in the attempt to examine the
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Children’s Social development is another area that has been investigated in relation to the effect poverty has. Duncan, Brooks-Gunn & Klebanov (1994) looked into the internalising behaviours and externalising behaviours that are linked to social development and the effects poverty has on them. Internalising behaviours incorporate behaviours such as depression, anxiety and social withdrawal (Duncan et al, 1994). Externalising behaviours include such behaviours as aggression and fighting. The study found that those children in long-term poverty had more internalizing and externalizing behavioural problems then children out of poverty (Duncan et, 1994). Parental Style is another factor that has been targeted with potential to be influenced by low-income poverty. How parents interact and discipline their children has been found to have a great impact on a child’s social development (Huston, 1995). Research has shown that poverty affects parenting indirectly through increased stress (Guo & Harris, 2000). When parents have to deal with a lack of food, living in a harmful environment along with potential unemployment and poor health, the emotional strain of the problems can reflect in large amounts of stress. These poverty-generated stresses have been associated with harsh, disciplinary parenting styles as well as low levels of warmth and support towards their children (Guo & Harris, 2000). These