Of course, there are differences between being poor in the developing country and being poor in the developed country, but there are some key factors about poverty that are common despite the location and the quality of the country’s development. Therefore, I will start by discussing general effects of poverty on child development.
Poverty increases a child’s vulnerability to both biological and psychological risks that can highly affect their developmental opportunities. As researches and statistics show, children in low-income neighborhoods are more likely to experience behavioral problems that negatively impact their cognitive development and mental health problems than children in affluent families. “21% of low-income children and youth aged 6 to 17 have mental health problems and 57% of these children and youth with mental health problems come from households living at or below the federal poverty line in the USA.”13 Even short time food deprivations have a huge impact on a child’s physical, cognitive and intellectual progress. The risks include malnutrition, limited access to medical treatment and sanitary facilities, abuse, deprivation, lack of education, lack of radio, television, newspaper, etc. Lacking these resources will cause their brain to not achieve developmental potential, therefore they will suffer from loss of opportunities and a poor development of their nervous system. These effects frequently cannot be recovered later despite brain plasticity (mechanisms involved in the organization of brain components throughout life cycle). In contrast with developing countries, in developed countries poor children have easier access to some sort of informational facilities, such a...
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...sometimes from the family too. “Findings show that social support fosters psychological adjustment and protects children from negative effects of stressful experiences. Support from both peers and adults can benefit children under stress.”
“Psychologically, any chronic exposure to stressful conditions elicits a number of possible reaction patterns. The constant activation and deactivation of psychological responses toward stressful conditions are related to the allostatic load, which causes long-term effects, for instant, persistent high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and anger.” (Huston 1991) Chronic stressors add up and cause mental health problems in poor children. Especially, if poverty is long-lasting. These experiences create fear and insecurity in children, which on the other hand causes nightmares, depression, anxiety, aggression and sleep disorders.
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