The Effects Of Poverty On Children

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The 2017 Newark Conference continues to promote accessible and quality education for students coming from low-income families. Providing education for children living in poverty is one of the main issues global leaders are acting on. As poverty continues to cripple communities and countries, children are most often impacted directly from it.

Children do suffer a lot from poverty. Their vulnerability, physically and mentally, makes them an easy target for health concerns and social discrimination. Difficulties in finishing their studies, and meeting basic needs such as food and housing hinder their growth and development. We must act now. Here are some of the effects children face due to living in poverty at a young age: 

  • Health Risks

Children living in overcrowded housing and impoverished neighborhoods are prone to respiratory difficulties, heart ailments, hypertension, and obesity. A significant reason for the problem with childhood obesity comes from inaccessibility to healthy food for low-income families, forcing them to buy unhealthy cheap meals instead. Hunger and undernutrition can impact children’s cognitive development and motor skills. Children living in poverty are likely to be affected by mental health issues as well, and involvement with child welfare.

  • Impairing Academic Achievements

Growing up in a low-income family can hinder the academic achievements of a child. Hunger is one of the factors, as it will be hard for children to focus and learn in school while having an empty stomach. Also, their problems extend outside of the school as problems at home with their families can become stressors, further discouraging them from attending school. Few opportunities and lack of resources to finish their schooling prompt them to drop-out early on.

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  • Stigmatization And Alienation

Children living in poverty often feel insecure, excluded, and embarrassed by their friends. They are also likely to be bullied and judged for their economic condition. The experiences of children being stigmatized and alienated can damage their emotional well being and initiate a feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. It can also result in children growing up with low self-esteem.

  • Safety Risks And Exposure To Violence

Living in disadvantaged neighborhoods gives children early exposure to violence and crime. The experiences and indirect displays of abuse can lead to adverse developmental outcomes. Children living in poverty-stricken communities are also at risk of being involved in juvenile justice agencies.