Impacts of Adversity and Deprivation on Childrens Development
The links between childhood deprivation, psychosocial adversity, emotional development and behaviour are well documented.
From the perspective of a human service professional working with children or adolescents, write a 2000 words essay that discusses these links referring to types of adversity and deprivation that you might observe in your current or future career. Discuss this with reference to both
- i) theoretical models (e.g as outlined in the textbooks), and
- ii) the peer-reviewed research evidence
In your answer,
- Define deprivation and adversity
- Discuss the links between childhood deprivation, adversity, emotional development and behaviour
- Describe the Human Services Professional perspective that you are taking and the behaviours you would expect to see in children from backgrounds of deprivation or adversity.
Ensure that you critically discuss the role of three of the following influences on the emotional development and behaviour of the child or adolescent who has an experience of adversity and/or deprivation.
- Parenting & Family (Parenting styles, Attachment)
- Society and Culture (Social behaviour, Peers, Cultural beliefs)
- The child or adolescent’s own personal characteristics (Temperament & sense of self)
The word count includes in-text citations but not the reference list.
You are expected to use your texts and a wide range of reputable reading material, which primarily includes relevant journal articles and recent reference books. Do not use website information (e.g., Wikipedia or Google) apart from electronic journal articles.
Deprivation refers to a state of living in the state of neglect in provision of the basic needs. Lacking something often is considered to be a necessity which is normally related to the physical and the mental wellbeing. Deprivation may be linked to institutionalization, parental problems, parental substance abuse, and poverty. The potential effects that deprivation has on an individual includes the problems arising from physical growth, cognitive impairment, attachment disorders, and behavioral problems. Severity situations of privation can be fatal for instance, in the year 1989, in Romania after the regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu was overthrown, the thousands of children who were warehoused in the Romanian orphanages and lived in the baby homes or the institutions for persons regarded to be unrecoverable suffered a huge mental and physical deprivations (Berk, 2013).
The early psychosocial deprivations may lead to the problems in the social working which includes the behaviors which are indiscriminate behaviors, overactivity, and the issues which form social relationships with the adults and the peers. The effects usually appear to persist for some time after children are placed in the family with stable and supportive caregiving. It is clear that the developmental delays and the discrepancies which result from such deprivations have their origins in the compromised development of the brain.
Adversity can be defined as the adverse conditions which are marked by a misfortune or distress. Adversity as experienced at the early stages of life such as poverty, illnesses, substance abuse, mental illnesses, and the exposure to violence may have a great impact to the children development. The more the adverse the childhood experiences are, the greater there is likelihood of developmental delays among other problems. The at the childhood stage adversity childhood may have some broad influence on development such as reproductive timing. The different of childhood adversity have been studied in terms of age at menarche, which includes the paternal divorce, parenting characteristics, parental absence, parental mental illnesses satisfaction in marriage, placement in adoption and foster care, death parents, and physical abuse. Usually, the greater psychological adversity in childhood is often associated with earlier sexual maturity.
Most of the studies have evaluated single or small numbers of measures of psychosocial adversity relating them to age at menarche, and have been limited to their ability to capture the childhood psychological adversity. This has been important for the exposure to adverse experiences in childhood have been unfavourable than encountering only one. There has been less literature which has been carried out in childhood psychosocial adversity relating them to the reproductive health in later stages of their life.
Links between childhood deprivation, adversity, emotional development and behavior
The adverse experiences during childhood are the significant determinants of the psychiatric disorders, with its effects persisting across the entire course of life. The exposure to deprivations of the environmental, maltreatment, family fights, and parental instabilities has led to some lasting negative effects on the mental health. Some studies have consistently identified the high rates of the childhood adversities among different individuals with the psychiatric disorder, and data to confirm their associations (Berk, 2013).
The childhood adversities have been associated with new onset of disorders at the period of adulthood. This has been even after accounting for effects during the early onset of the disorders, and also the greater severity and chronicity of entire lifetime of mental disorders. The effects of the adverse effects during the entire childhood on the brain development have since been clear. The toxic stresses in the early life may lead to the important changes in different parts of the brain, which includes those which performs the learning and also the memory and those which carry out the executive functions.
Through experiencing severe childhood deprivation and neglect may have lasting psychological impacts into the early adulthood. Deprivation which includes neglect may have a damaging effect to the children through the absence of the ideal environmental conditions and also lack of enough opportunities for their development, somewhat through the perpetration of abuses that may be from the caregivers. However, the effects of deprivation may be long-lasting and have implications for opportunities which the children have in their later on life, and incoming generations. By being exposed to the severity of the conditions at the period of childhood may be associated with a lasting and a deep-rooted emotional, social, and cognitive problems, which appear to be complex and also vary with time.
The effects of childhood deprivation of emotions may be dramatic. According to Berk, 2013, children having major personal interactions are likely to suffer from anaclitic depression, and that morbidity levels were significantly high even when the nutrition and the medical guidelines were followed. This is deprivation at its extreme. However, less extreme levels of deprivation can also result in poor developmental prospects for children.
Human Services Professional perspective
Children should be given the necessary care which will promote the affirmative emotional health and their overall welfare. Children should also be monitored their overall mental health and given support when they need it, this includes the encouraging the sense of self and the ability to manage the situations which appear stressful to them, emotional arousal of temper, overcoming fears, and be able to cope up with the frustrations and disappointments arising from adversity. Their caregivers or parents should be the essential resources for their children in the management of their emotions, managing and coping with behavior. They should serve their roles through the provision of positive assertions and passing on respect and love and also promoting the sense of security.
The children possessing the basic social abilities will, therefore, be able to maintain affirmative relationships with their fellow peers and their caregivers. Social competence that is interwoven with other developmental areas such as cognitive, emotional, and physical also may involve the abilities of children to get along and also respect others, for example, those of different races, religions, economic backgrounds, and sexual orientation. The basic social skills will include an array of social behaviors for instance empathy, sharing, cooperation, and perspective taking, which are greatly associated with the successes of children both in school and other settings and can be nurtured by the parents or other caregivers. The skills are also associated with the future success of their children across different contexts in their adulthood
Parenting & Family (Parenting styles, Attachment)
The support provided by parents may help in minimizing the risks arising from internalizing certain behaviors like those which are associated with depression and anxiety and can impair the children’s abilities to carry on well at the community, school, or home. The symptoms such as extremity in helplessness, fearfulness, apathy, and depression arising from adversity are major indicators of the emotional difficulties which are observed in younger children experiencing insufficient parental care (Berk, 2013). Parenting styles will enable the parents to respond positively to the needs of their children and be emotionally sensitive to the problems their children undergo. The strong attachment to the parents will, in turn, helps their children become more secure, peaceful, and empathic human beings free from the psychological struggles.
The attachment processes is another area which has great importance in the human development and behavior. Attachment involves enduring the emotional ties to special people. It is characterized by the tendencies to maintain the closeness during the adverse moments. It enable us to understand the primary relationships of children and development influences on them such as cognitive, social and emotional. The attachment process plays an important role in human development and have an influence on the adult behaviors and also personality, this is especially in response to the stressors. Some studies have proven that the childhood adversity has been correlated greatly to the adult morbidities and mortality. The relationship between attachment and childhood adversity has been complex and not interpreted fully, but includes the socio-economic, psychological, and the intergenerational factors. In addition, some of the adverse outcomes of health for parents for instance substance use or death may act as a risk factor for the children.
The children who are not attached securely find it hard to have the confidence to explore different environments, they tend to spend most of their time in protective measures. The fearful children who do not explore do not develop or learn. Mary Ainsworth came up with a model of testing the attachment of children to their respective caregivers which was referred to as a ‘strange situation’. The children who were left by were reunited to their caregivers. Those who were distressed when they parted but easily consoled at their reunion and were described to have had a secure attachment (Berk, 2013). The children who had insecure attachment who were completely unable to be attached found it hard later to make attachments to others and sometimes undiscerning about getting themselves attached to adults and were at more risk such as being subjected to abuse.
The child or adolescent’s own personal characteristics (Temperament & sense of self)
The temperament stability during infancy appear to be low and become moderate as they become older. The long-term predictions from the early temperament characteristics are achieved at the age of three years. The children styles of response often are best established at this age. Children also appear to be consistent across different tasks which require effort. The stability of temperament from low to moderate usually confirms that the experience may modify the biologically centered temperamental behaviors.
The sensitive and assenting parenting helps in the regulation of negative emotions in children. Parents handling by use of punitive and angry discipline methods undermines the developmental progress of their children. Children who react with disobedience and defiance often make their parents to be stressed. The tactics which appear to be coercive and erratic discipline methods often brings about conflict. Parental support, sensitivity, and the clear expectations reduces the possibility that the difficulties may persist leading to the social and emotional difficulties.
The act of having a dominant mood, persistence, adaptability, threshold, activity level, happiness, and self-regulation among other characteristics are very essential since it will help maintain the children’s normal moods even though they may appear to be undergoing some difficulties (Berk, 2013). The caregivers and their parents should devote an extra effort in order to identify, accommodate, and modify the temperamental features of their children.
Resilience refers to the ability of children to cope up with the negative experiences they go through. Children exposed to neglect or abuse have low self-esteem such as having positive relationships with their family members and have the risk of having a much more serious adverse outcomes when this condition increases. Factors contributing to the resilience of children includes the child attributes such as independence and self-esteem, the family environment, and the community resources. The adverse factors which influence child neglect or abuse and the young people includes frequency and the duration of maltreatment and the occurrences of different forms of abuse. The children who are resilient often come about with healthy techniques of coping up with their situations and allows them to effectively navigate through their adversity crises. Additionally, individuals who demonstrate resilience are the individuals having optimistic attitudes and emotions. They are able to effectively handle the negative emotions with positive ones.
Resilience is thus thought to be generally a positive adaptation, this is after the stressful or adverse situations. When people are stressed up daily, it disrupts their internal and the external senses of balance and presents challenges and also the opportunities. Resilience is thus the integrated variation of the mental, spiritual, and the physical aspects of the set of either bad or good circumstances (Berk, 2013). The clear sense of self which is able to maintain the normative tasks of development which occur in different stages of life. Furthermore, resilience has been studied to be focusing on those handle life with humor and hope despite some significant losses. It is therefore important noting that, resilience does not only overcomes a situation which is stressful but also comes out of the situation with a substantial functioning. Resilience thus allows anyone to recover from the adversity to be a much strengthened and resourceful individual.
Berk, L. E. (2013). Child Development. (9th Ed.). Illinois State University: Pearson.