Poverty has Remarkable Influence on the Behavior of Children: Study

Poverty has Remarkable Influence on the Behavior of Children: Study
  • Children in poor household fail to respond appropriately to everyday situations
  • Effective parenting is important for mental and emotional stability of children
  • A study including 250 homeless parents and their children suggested, that children who are exposed to high family adversity may happen to respond well to parenting interventions

New Delhi, July 21, 2017: Social relationships and its complex web which children experience with either their parents, teachers or peers in school and friends or other family members- exerts an influence on the child's behavior which is quite powerful. Researchers feel that in children, the process of transformation begins as they start developing core relationships with parents or primary caregivers in their lives, which eventually, shapes children's personality.

Better relationships, or relationships that are stronger and more secure, tend to help children understand and deal with issues, which further help in the stabilization of their behavior and development of social skills that they could carry with them for life. Children who are acquainted with such relationships, grow up to be healthier mentally and are able to respond appropriately to everyday situations. This way, children's mental health depends hugely on their social relationships.

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However, children in poor households do not share the privilege. They, generally, fail to learn how to respond properly to situations and often end up with bad grades in school. Naturally, children with unstable emotional regulation are more vulnerable to experience frustration, anger and other destructive emotions that serve as an obstacle in their way to good performance, or completion of tasks.

Social exclusion seems to be another consequence of their disruptive behavior, this behavior being the primary impact of poverty. A child's behavior needs to be paid attention to and no wonder, effective parenting is the ultimate key.

A study including 245 homeless parents and their children, aged 4 to 6 years was conducted and the findings suggested that children who are exposed to high family adversity may happen to respond well to parenting interventions, whereas children in extreme poverty may benefit from interventions targeting disruptive behavior and enhancing teacher-child relationships.

"These results emphasize the importance of high-quality parenting for social-emotional development, but also its potential limits. Severe poverty may overwhelm the benefits of strong parenting for children's behavior, suggesting that interventions promoting child resilience need to reduce poverty-related risk in addition to building protective factors in the family," said lead author Madelyn Labella.

The study states that the children experiencing poverty suffer greater behavioral problems, but, significantly, it is also a reminder for parents about the importance and need of good parenting skills.

The study appears in the journal Child Development.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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