Child Poverty

Child Poverty


The first six years are key in the development of human brains. Nutrients and a proper supportive environment are essential for proper human brain development. Apparently, emotional support, attention, appropriate stimulation and high levels of nutrition are also major factors that contribute to the development of the brain(Luby et al., 2014).  This factors also prepares the brain and maximize its ability for future learning. The aspects associated with the environment of a child can affect the mind maximum functioning adversely. The negative factors that contribute to the improper mind development of the child are neglect and poverty.

Poverty contributes negatively to the cognitive growth of a child thus affecting the ability of the child to learn and perform well in schools(Kim et al., 2013). Cognitive measures employed in children from the low-income family show they perform worse compared to children from high-income families. Childhood poverty is associated with pervasive negative psychological and physical health that is a sequel in adulthood life. Research shows that poverty exposure at early ages causes negative effects on the hippocampus. Additionally, children exposed to poverty are not able to associate well with others at schools and often prefer staying alone(Hackman, & Farah, 2013). Additionally, this child may develop mental disorders such as depression among others and this limits the ability to learn in class. Other parts of the brain affected by poverty exposure in young children include amygdala. This is the parts of the brain highly involved in emotional processing and the regulation of stress. These parts of the brain are known to be highly sensitive to the stimuli of the environment. Poverty is associated with various risk factors that include stressful life, poor nutrition unsupportive parenting among others.



The effects of poverty on the cognitive ability of a child are of great concern to public health. Children health is of concern to determine appropriate aging health. Importantly, the factors that contribute to childhood poverty needs to be addressed. Developed countries are the most affected by the problem(Hackman, & Farah, 2013). The government, the public health department as well as individual efforts are needed to ensure that the problem is addressed in the appropriate manner. Parents need to understand the risks and the dangers associated with poverty on brain development of the children. The provision of such education can be accomplished through community forums. Parents have a crucial role to play to ensure that childhood poverty is addressed. They should provide a supportive environment for their children. Proper nutrients should be given to children with the aim of enhancing proper brain development. The government also has a role in ensuring that childhood poverty is addressed. In public schools, the government should provide or initiate meal programs aimed at ensuring that hunger doesn’t affect the learning process of children at schools. Also, the government should initiate the policy of prosecuting parents who are found neglecting the needs of their children(Luby et al., 2014). Poverty also affects children access to medical care. The government should ensure that low-income earners can access the needed care.


The research conducted shows that child poverty affects the development of specific parts of the brain. This includes specific parts such as the amygdala and hippocampal. Also, children affected by poverty have smaller white matter as a result of deprived nutrients that supports this part of the brain. Caregiving mediates the volumes of the hippocampus among other factors. Proper parenting is key in ensuring that children can develop their mind in an appropriate manner.


Hackman, D., & Farah, M. (2013). Socioeconomic status and the developing brain. Retrieved 22 March 2017, from

Kim, P., Evans, G., Angstadt, M., Ho, S., Sripada, C., & Swain, J. et al. (2013). Effects of childhood poverty and chronic stress on emotion regulatory brain function in adulthood. Retrieved 22 March 2017, from

Luby, J., Belden, A., Botteron, K., Marrus, N., Harms, M., & Babb, C. et al. (2014). The Effects of Poverty on Childhood Brain Development. Retrieved 22 March 2017, from