Childhood is the most precious time of life. A time of rapid development where experiences shape the identity of the adults we become. A child’s healthy growth and development are dependent on many_factors. Factors that can impact on the lives of children and young people can be social, economic, environmental, and cultural. Social factors that may impact on the lives of young people can include a lack of social or friendship networks, as well as health status, disability and illness.
Studies have proven that Children need friends and friendships to develop their interaction skills, but also their understanding, empathy and social skills. Children who lack these networks may feel isolated and therefore isolate themselves in return. Children who lack fundamental social skills may also suffer insecurities about themselves and be withdrawn and shy- This may lead in a delay or limit in the child’s communication skills and they may also struggle to empathic and relate to others feelings.
As they grow older there is every chance their insecurities may lead to self hated and self harm – if the child lacks people to confide and and turn to for advice at this stage, they may find themselves drawn in to the Wrong crowd’ for a ensue of belonging, and there is every chance they will end up being manipulated in some form. Many of the Young people who use our service have experiences a lack of social interaction from a very young age and fundamentally have not developed the skills needed to interact appropriately.
This becomes apparent during structured time in the home such as meal times when many Young people do not have the skills to order their meal appropriately or engage in appropriate conversations and exhibit basic table manners. Another example of this within the setting in which I work is amongst Young people ho cannot accept they are exhibiting ‘risk taking behaviors such as gasconading and not being able to comprehend the seriousness of being involved in criminal activities.
Many young people using out service simply get drawn in to this type of behavior due to their vulnerability (insecurities at an early age, inability to socialize appropriately) and find them selves being manipulated by others. Health status and Disability Describe the Social Economical and Cultural Factors That Will Impact on the Lives of Young People By holistically 7 physical, personality and characteristic traits.
A baby being born to a mother who smokes throughout her pregnancy has a higher chance of developing asthma, due to the lower pulmonary function in these babies. Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children, especially children who have low birth weight, are exposed to tobacco smoke, are black and are raised in a low income environment. ‘ (Medical News Today 2013) Development of the baby can be seriously compromised by a parents ‘lifestyle choices’ as well as underlying medical conditions of both parents.
Substance misuse in pregnancy An estimated 1% of pregnant women are problem drug users and another 1% re problem drinkers (Hidden Harm) Heroin is the main drug of pregnant drug users but many use multiple drugs and alcohol. Cocaine, amphetamines, painlessness’s and cannabis are also common (Hall & van Tightening) Effects of drug and alcohol misuse on babies through pregnancy Babies exposed before birth to heroin, other opiates, cocaine and painlessness’s can be become physically addicted to the drugs and be born with severe neonatal withdrawal symptoms (“neonatal abstinence syndrome” (“NAS”). Hidden Harm) NAS can also develop in babies whose mothers have been prescribed the iron substitute methadone (INS Evidence) * Cocaine damages brain development causing learning and behavior problems (Hidden Harm) * Heroin slows fetal growth, causing intrauterine growth retardation (small for dates babies) and premature birth (INS Evidence) * Problem drug use is associated with low birthright, premature birth, stillbirth and KIDS, but as most problem drug users are also heavy cigarette smokers, with poor nutrition and complex social circumstances, these outcomes may be due to tobacco exposure and other adverse circumstances (Hidden Harm; INS Evidence) * Heavy drinking can cause hysterical abnormalities, impaired growth and cognitive delay (“fetal alcohol syndrome”) (Hidden Harm) * If drugs are injected there is an increased risk of the transmission of HIVE and viral hepatitis (Hidden Harm) * Babies born with NAS drug withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult to care for due to their feeding problems, irritability and poor sleep pattern and this may prevent early bonding if her baby is born drug dependent or otherwise harmed by her drug use may also make it hard for her develop maternal attachment (Potts) Drug and alcohol addiction are important risk factors for maternal death wrought suicide, accidental overdose and medical complications (Saving Mothers’ Lives) Using drugs does not mean that an adult cannot be a caring and responsible parent (Potts). However, where there is problem drug use, often combined with mental health problems and poverty, children are at increased risk of: * neglect and abuse dangerously inadequate supervision inadequate and unstable accommodation toxic substances in the home social isolation. Consequences for the children include: failure to thrive blood-borne virus infections inadequate health care and missed ammunitions emotional, cognitive, behavioral and other psychological problems poor educational attainment.
In families where the parents are problem drug users, other family members, especially maternal grandparents, may take on responsibility for the children to avoid them being taken into care. (Potts) Some babies may be born prematurely through no fault of the mother. Premature babies are generally smaller and weigh less that a baby that has gone full term. This can impact upon the child’s brain and lung development as well as making them more executables to infection, hypothermia, Jaundice, respiratory distress, hypoglycemia and behavioral and psychosomatic problems. A study from Liverpool has looked at children aged 7 and 8 who were born before 32 weeks and who were well enough to attend mainstream school. 13] They were compared with full-term children of similar age in their class at school: * Disabilities can be subtle and numerous and so a range of tests was used. * The preterm children had a higher incidence of motor impairment and this affected how well they did at school even when their intelligence was normal. * Over 30% had developmental co-ordination disorder (DDCD) compared with 6% of classmates. * The preterm children were significantly more likely be overactive, easily destructible, impulsive, disorganized and lacking in persistence. They also tended to overestimate their ability. * Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD) was found in 8. 9% of the preterm children and 2% of controls. The children who had been the most premature were not necessarily those with the tested in this study did not seem lower than those found in children born 10 or 20 years earlier, despite improvements in care of the newborn. (Boulder-Hughes and Cooke 2003) Children’s health is also determined form environmental factors and influences such as diet, stress, low income or genetic make up. Ill health can affect children’s education if they are missing large proportion of schooling due to the need to attend hospital appointments or physical therapy. Medical conditions in children may also affect their involvement in all schooling activities and they may be restricted in what they can do. If the child is the career of a parent suffering illness or disability this can lead to emotional difficulties.
The child may struggle to understand the role reversal they are experiencing, viewing themselves as being on a par with adults and more mature than their peers, resulting in them struggling to form friendships. They may become resentful at missing out on their childhood and present challenging behavior. Although it is not possible to gain any quantitative data on how many young people using our service have been affected by health status related issues, it could be argued that a large proportion have experienced some form of health related concerns, either themselves directly or as part of the wider family that have impacted on them living a fulfilled and happy life until now. Economical and environmental factors Substance Misuse. In the Uk there are estimated to be 920,000 dependent children living with rental alcohol misuse. and between 250,000 – 350,000 dependent children living with parental drug misuse. Parental substance misuse can cause considerable harm. (see earlier section on effects of alcohol and substance misuse on babies. ) Children are at risk from emotional and physical neglect as they are growing up if substance misuse is rife in the family environment. Children may also be at risk of developing emotional and social problems later in life . Many young people growing up in to families where substance misuse is emotional care for them. There can be a stigma associated with substance misuse in arenas that leaves a young person feeling isolated, anxious and responsible for their own and others well being.
There have been many young people who use our service that have had family members that have had very severe addictions to substance misuse. On one occasions young female who resided with us would routinely get upset after her phone call to her fatter. Her father was an alcoholic, who although loved his daughter very much, cod not battle the addiction. Care team noticed a visible change in the young females demeanor both leading Upton and after these phone calls as she old be able to tell if he had been drinking or not. Several times during the young females stay at our home, her father had been rushed into hospital with aloha related illnesses. This was a very difficult, anxious and worrying time for the young female as there was little she could do.
Thru young person commented to myself during a keyword sessions on one occasions that hash felt the roles between her and her father had been reversed and she had now taken on a caring role for her father. Poverty Poverty is the single greatest threat to the well being of children and families and can effect every area of a child’s development – social, educational and personal. At least one out of every six children in the UK lives in relative poverty, according to data released by the Department for Work and Pensions. In 2011-12, 2. 3 million UK children (17%) lived in homes with substantially lower than average income. This rises to 27% (3. 5 million) if measured after housing costs are paid. Child poverty blights childhoods.
Growing up in poverty means being cold, going hungry, not being able to Join in activities with friends. For example, 61 per cent of families in the OTTOMH income quintile would like, but cannot afford, to take their children on holiday for one week a year. Child poverty has long-lasting effects. By 16, children receiving free school meals achieve 1. 7 grades lower at GEESE than their wealthier peers. Leaving school with fewer qualifications translates into lower earnings over the course of a working life. Poverty is also related to more complicated health histories over the course of a lifetime, again influencing earnings as well as the overall quality – and indeed length – of life.
Professionals live, on average, eight years longer than unskilled workers. Department for Work and Pensions, 2012) Poor Housing dependent on local authority housing. This may result in overcrowding, for example being housed in a bed-sit or home with insufficient bedrooms. This means the child has no privacy, or personal space. They may struggle with homework and course work because of the lack of a quiet space in which to complete it. The housing provided may be of a poor quality – suffering damp or be in disrepair. According to Shelter (2012) ‘ poor housing increases the risk of severe ill health or disability by up to 25% during childhood and early adulthood’
Growing up in bad housing has a long-term impact on children’s life chances because of the effect it has on a child’s learning and education. Homeless children are particularly disadvantaged because of the disruption to their schooling caused by homelessness. Living in poor or overcrowded housing conditions also affects a child’s ability to learn, which can have a lasting impact on a child’s chances of succeeding in life. Furthermore, the roots of later problems_-_such as offending and behavior problems in adulthood – May be traceable to behavioral problems that emerge when children are growing up in poor housing conditions. Offending or antisocial behavior.
If a child is born to, or grows up to experience a parent or close relative who has been undertaking criminal activities, there is a good chance that child may assume this is the correct way in which to behave, therefore raising the chances of that child becoming involved in criminal activities. If a parent or close family member has been sent to prison, the child then experiences a ‘loss’, and as a result a certain degree of emotional stress. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CAR) states that no child should be discriminated against cause of the situation or status of their parents . Yet, children of prisoners often feel ashamed, unsupported, and ‘different’ because their parent is in prison.
They may experience bullying and harassment from their peers or the whole community in which they live; they may experience difficulties in school. They are at risk of developing emotional difficulties that impact on their development and their future. For some, their material situation will change – or pre-existing poverty deepen – due to parental imprisonment. Their lives may change beyond recognition from the moment of arrest, in particular if this is their first experience of parental detention, and they often live in fear, anxious and worried about their parents. In short – children of imprisoned parents often bear the consequences of their parents’ actions in a way that no child should be expected to bear; they become “the invisible victims of crime and the penal system”. Boswell 2002) The arrest of a parent can be a traumatic removed, a parent ‘disappearing from the child’s life – even temporarily – in circumstances that the child may not entirely comprehend leaves a mark on the child’s feeling of safety and security. Even in situations where removal of a parent perhaps brings respite to the family – such as in circumstances of an arrest of a perpetrator of domestic violence – the experience of arrest is not neutral. The child may, for example, blame themselves for the violence – or for not being able to stop it – and in turn blame themselves for the fact of the arrest taking place and their parent being taken away. Children of imprisoned parents 2011) Parental separation Parental separation is most usefully viewed as part of a process beginning before divorce itself and continuing long after. Support may be needed and intervention required at any stage to reduce possible detrimental effects on children. Although short-term distress at the time of separation is common, this usually fades with time and long-term adverse outcomes typically apply only to a minority of children experiencing the separation of their parents. However, these children have roughly twice the probability of experiencing specific poor outcomes in the long term compared with those in intact families.
Children of separated families have a higher probability of: * poverty and poor housing; being poorer when they are adults; behavioral problems; performing less well in school; deeding medical treatment; leaving school/home when young; being in becoming sexually active, pregnant, or a parent at an early age; depressive symptoms, high levels of smoking and drinking, and drug use during adolescence and adulthood. O (Rodgers and Poor 2008) Lack of academic achievement Children whose parents have had a poor education or lack innumeracy and literacy skills can struggle at school. Their parents may show little or no interest in their education and as a result they may also lose interest. The parents may not attend school progress meetings so they will have little understanding of their child’s achievements and therefore the child will not receive praise and encouragement to continue.
The parents will struggle to support the child in homework and coursework and the child will therefore struggle. This may cause them to get in trouble as a result of uncompleted assignments. They might fail’ in their education, as a result, Again, it is hard to quantify how many young people using the service in which I work have experienced environmental factors that could hinder their development such as parental separation, anti social behavior in the family setting or poverty and poor housing. However anecdotal evidence would suggest that a large proportion of young people who use our service will have experienced at least one of the above factors. Cultural Factors A child’s culture can affect their development as different cultures place different emphasis on different areas of development. In some cultures girls aren’t encouraged to take part in physical play and activities while boys are encouraged to be outside more and boisterous. Family may be very important to some cultures – They may spend a lot of time with family members and friends In different cultures the importance of play can vary, Some families will place great interest in education and encourage children to do homework, however I others, education can be seen as better for boys, or as ‘girlish’. This affects attitudes to learning, concentration and activities children engage in.
Children whose culture is a minority can face discrimination and isolation; this leads to lower self-esteem as they don’t have friends or may get bullied. This may leave them confused or feeling isolated and struggling to interact with the wider community. They may also experience or witness abuse on the grounds of their religious beliefs and customs, leaving them not only confused and isolated but earful. Ethnic and cultural customs Many adolescents from non English speaking backgrounds (ONES) face the challenge of dealing with the tasks of adolescence while growing up between two cultures – with not only two languages but often very different behavioral and social expectations.
There may be great variation in cultural values and norms regarding the central tasks of adolescence – such as developing a sense of identity and independence. Young people may have different forms of attire, causing them to be teased or bullied. Their culture may view interaction between men and women in a different ay and the young person will struggle to recognize what is acceptable at school as it differs to home. This could cause them to come into conflict with school rules or to be Transient lifestyle The child and their family could move around frequently; for example they may come from Gypsy Room Traveler community. This means their education will be inconsistent and interrupted.