Childhood behavior Problems: Is Poverty Be a Contributor?

Character flaws are natural until they get extreme and affect how your child relates with the world.

Your kid’s early life is a “sensitive span,” and all experiences have a significant and lasting effect, so parents must focus on childhood behavior problems.

Childhood poverty has a deleterious effect on a kid’s behavioral and intellectual development than it does later in adolescence.

In a longitudinal study, household poverty during early child life resulted in low accomplishment at school (between ages 6 to 12); once poor early child-life earning was considered, household income throughout the years of schooling wasn’t related to success.

And it’s hard to deny that success and behavior go hand in hand. Being a troublemaker both at home and school, stealing stuff here and there, extreme violence, etc., are signs your child needs help with their character.

Cases of kids diagnosed with severe misconduct disorder even at tender ages can be confusing to parents who understand less about child psychology.

And while many other factors could lead to childhood behavior problems, past and present studies have strongly cited poverty as one of the primary factors.

This can happen either directly, such as theft, because they lack whatever they need or indirectly through poverty-induced motherly depression, which affects parenting or causes a ripple effect on the child.

What is Poverty or Low income

Low-income levels can cause harsh environments, motherly depression, perceived parenting, all of which can cause childhood behavior problems.

Earnings per year is the first and most commonly used gauge for the level of poverty a country suffers.

In the United States, the state poverty threshold is approximately the lowest income a family or individual needs to avoid severe material hardship.

This definition surfaced back in 1963 when the nation came up with estimations for the minimum individual food budget needed for sufficient nutrition and using the theory that food made up about a third of a household’s expenditure.

However, this threshold differs depending on the household size and changes every year due to price increases derived from the Consumer Price Index.

Back in 2009, the minimum for a household of four was $22,050. Nevertheless, this measure has several errors bearing in mind that it didn’t cover regional disparities in the cost of living and benefits some individuals/regions enjoy as public assistance.

Image Alt tag: Is poverty a problem in childhood behavior problems?

For that reason, The US Federal government has put out a revised edition and comprehensive definition of poverty with the aim of correcting these evident flaws. Still, poverty remains an absolute threshold founded on annual income.

This post focuses on poverty as a threat variable for conduct issues in early childhood while assessing the link between low income and childhood behavior problems regarding parenting, domestic dysfunction, and/or motherly depression indicators.

Past evidence has concentrated on the family stress model that states that financial adversity elevates parental suffering, incidentally influencing the child’s adaptation through psychological well-being and parenting value.

Therefore, with the inadequate literature on the model about poverty and child growth during the ages before five, recent studies seek to demonstrate that family stress can be linked to increased degrees of behavior issues in children.

Learning this can help parents reduce poverty’s detrimental influence on behavioral issues and government institutions to offer program guidelines to decrease poverty in households with young children.

It is essential to understand the knowledge of family mediators through which poverty causes conduct issues. Therefore, we will discuss the link between chronic poverty from the ages of 5 months to 3.5 years and amplified degrees of physical aggression and hyperactivity from the ages of 1.5 to 5 years.

Other analyses involve assessing if the link between poverty and conduct issues in relation to issues like observed parenting, household dysfunction, and motherly depression indicators.

The Study: Can Poverty Lead to Childhood Behavior Problems

Participants in the study were selected from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Childhood Development with a sample including those born during 1997 to 1998 in the Quebec Birth Registry via a ranked technique founded on residential region and birth rate.

Households in the study were eligible if the pregnancy lasted 24 to 42 weeks, and the maternal parent could converse bilingually in French or English or both.

The information required was obtained annually through home interviews directed at the individual with the most understanding of the child.

The home interviews required the parental guardian to range their child’s conduct five times between 1.5 and 5 years, utilizing the early childhood behavior scale. Whereas, the questions attempted to obtain the incidence scale of childhood behavior problems regarding physical aggression and hyperactivity with a focus on their interactions.

A semiparametric mixture model approach was used to analyze conduct profiles of physical aggression and hyperactivity since the modeled trajectories helps researchers identify groups of children with different degrees of specific conduct over a period.

It also evaluated the number of children in all the observed trajectory groups and trends of stability and disparities in trajectories.

Three physical aggression trajectories were obtained as high, moderate, and low. High trajectory groups of physical aggression and hyperactivity were treated as a dichotomous variable, and children with uncharacteristically high degrees of conduct issues identified as the high trajectory group.

Poverty was gauged through a measure of relative poverty as the parental guardians were required to provide their total yearly family income before taxes for up to twelve months.

Poverty was obtained as a function of residing in a home with yearly income below the Canadian minimum wage cut-offs calculated by Statistics Canada and were accessible for all years except the 4.5 years of age evaluation with the values derived from household income, individuals in the household, and level of urbanization of the past year’s residence.

As specified, poverty, or chronic poverty, was treated as a dichotomous variable and involved when households survived at or beneath minimum wage cut-offs on two to four circumstances when children were age five months to 3.5 years.

Household dysfunction, perceived parenting, and motherly depression indicators were identified as potential factors to measure childhood behavior problems.

Motherly ratings of family dysfunction evaluated domestic conflict founded on communication issue solving, managing disorderly conduct, and displaying and getting affection.

Motherly depression signs were analyzed through an 8-item condensed type of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule with mothers responding to questions whose responses were input into a computer.

Parenting levels were evaluated at the years of 1.5 and 2.5, utilizing the Parental and Conduct toward the Infant Scale (PACOTIS) with averages collected and input. Each of the parental constructs with higher values translated to higher levels of observed parenting from a scale of zero to ten.

The study found that children exposed to chronic poverty are more likely to have physical aggression and hyperactivity between 1.5 and 5 years compared to unexposed or children exposed to momentary poverty.

The two variables that stood out as large mediators of the link between poverty and children’s high trajectories of conduct issues were overprotection and motherly depression indicators. Furthermore, unlike past research on older children, coercion and domestic dysfunction were not notable as mediators of the link.

The authors of the study cite the lack of temporally ordered data. This factor arose from the revelation that models respecting the temporal ordering of variables mimicked linkage trends common in main mediation models.

Therefore, one recommendation is having future data that would be significant to similar research collected as temporally ordered data for a general analysis of a study group to represent evidence obtained while studying childhood behavior problems from a significant sample group.

Previous research has attempted to utilize the family stress model to assess children below five years in evaluating the mediating link between motherly depression indicators and other parental constructs, and poverty as a threat to conduct issues in early childhood development.

This research established that exposing children to chronic poverty leads to potential childhood behavioral misconduct that manifests as physical aggression and hyperactivity.

The Takeaway

Your child’s early life is a sensitive span meaning all experiences have a significant and lasting effect on the child.

Childhood poverty has a deleterious effect on a kid’s behavioral and intellectual development than it does later in adolescence.

Low income and childhood behavior problems remain major problems even in developed nations, more so the United States, despite the material affluence unparalleled in its history.

Despite these intervention policies, they have not eliminated poverty and its effects on children; there’s still adequate room and resources. We can still improve the situation by exploring the inherent and explicit concepts of change that trigger poverty policies.