Factors that influence Child Development
There are many factors that can influence child development. The two main types of influences are:
Which include health status and genetic influences and disability.
Poverty and deprivation
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Family background & environment
In this assignment I will be explaining the influences of all the above factors on a child??™s development, through the ages from 0-19 years of age. I will also try to give examples via my work placement.
First of all health status: ???is determined by their genetic influence as well as other factors, such as diet, environment and the health care they receive??? (cache p67)
Child Development can be affected by a child??™s health status such as a disability there are born with e.g. Downs syndrome which is a congenital disease.
Downs syndrome affects a child??™s development holistically by delaying their developmental milestones, such as walking and talking later than children without the disability.
An example of this is within my work placement. In the setting there is a child with Downs syndrome and she needs one to one help with a specialised teaching assistant.
Another example of a child with a disability within my work placement setting is a girl who has a disability called Reynard??™s Phenomenon.
Reynard??™s Phenomenon is a disorder that affects the child??™s hands. Unfortunately, the child is unable to sense when her hands are getting to cold. If this condition were not correctly managed the child would produce sores on her hands that would become very painful.
My work placement tackles this disability by making sure the child always wears gloves in and outside the classroom and regularly checks the temperature of the child??™s hands.
If the child were not supported within the setting it would affect the child??™s educational and social development, as she would be absent from school regularly.
External factors such as poverty and deprivation can have a detrimental effect on child development. Poverty can be inter-linked to other external factors and this can lead to a ???cycle of deprivation???.
There are many factors that build up a cycle of deprivation one of these is unemployment.
For example if a child??™s parents/carers are unemployed this will affect child development as they may worry about their parents being stressed which could lead to the child becoming withdrawn.
Also, the child may not be able to participate in certain activities and hobbies such as gymnastics or after school clubs as these activities generally cost money. This would influence their social development especially if their peer group are able to participate in the groups.
Being in poverty can also affect a child??™s living conditions. For example, if a child lives in a damp house they may become prone to illnesses such as asthma or colds. This will affect the child??™s development as they ay become frequently absent from school.
Furthermore, a limited income can affect a child??™s diet, there diet may be poor and limited in vitamins and minerals. This will affect their development as a ???child??™s eating habits are likely to be continued into adulthood???(p67 cache), and having no breakfast or a poor breakfast such as crisps or a chocolate bar can lead to loss of concentration at school time.
This is why at my work placement setting free school meals to parents/carer??™s with a limited income are so important as they give the child a chance to have one balanced meal free of charge each school day.
Another expect of being a disadvantaged child they are unable to keep up appearances with their peers. This normally happens during the teenage years. E.g. if the parent/career is unable to buy up to date branded clothing this may affect a child??™s development as they can become a victim of bullying. This could lead to the child becoming withdrawn and shy at school and this would affect their social and emotional development.
However within my work placement setting the school implements a school uniform policy, which can stop this type of bullying behaviour.
Another external factor, which is important within a child??™s development, is their family environment and background.
???Children??™s and young people ???s social and emotional development is strongly influenced by family and culture???. (P67 cache).
An example of this is when a child comes from a ???split family??™; which means a one parent/carer is the main carer for the child. This can happen through death or divorce.
This may lead to a child becoming insecure, withdrawn and sometimes attention seeking. This can affect their development as they may find it hard to socialise and to learn effectively at school.
Children can also learn many habits from their parents such as bad language, as children tend to imitate their parents/carers behaviour.
This can disrupt a child??™s education because if he/she used bad language at school they may get sent to the head of the school and be labelled as a challenging child.
However, the family network can influence a child in a positive way e.g. such as a child being polite and having good manners, can also encourage good habits. It is important to remember that most parents provide a ???nurturing environment for their children??? (cache p67).
This is grown through love and affection, discipline when needed and opportunities to socialise and play.
Cultural Differences are also important in a child??™s development. For example, in some Indian cultures ???girls can be pressurised to marry earlier even if they are not emotionally ready???
This can lead to the girl becoming very upset and even depressed and can make her feel negatively about the changes within her body during puberty.
Another factor, which is important in a teenagers development, are personal choices.
The personal choices which children and teenagers make can affect their development. E.g. if a sixteen year old child decides to start smoking if can affect their health. They may develop more coughs and colds and this could lead to absenteeism from school, plus it could lead to disagreements within the family.
As smoking is an addictive habit it may become a lifetime habit, which could lead to major illnesses as an adult.
The next external factor I am going to be explaining is care status.
The term care status
??? Is when a child or young person is the subject of a care order that places him or her under the care of a local authority???.
For example, if a child is under a care order due to physical abuse this will affect their development socially and emotionally.
The child may start to imitate the actions of the abuser and may become aggressive which could lead to problems with behaviour at school and the child could become a persistent absentee (see printout).
Or, the child come become withdrawn and insular, which could lead to difficulties with making friends at school and having trust issues with peers and adults.
Research has shown that children under a care order have significantly more absenteeism from school than children who are not under a care order (see printout).
The final factor I am going to explore in this assignment is the influence of education on a child??™s development.
Every child from 5-16 years of age has to go through an education system. The quality of the education in and out of school is paramount.
For example if the school is classed as poor by ofsted (this may affect the child??™s learning) as the quality of teaching will not be adequate.
Also, if the child??™s parents do not encourage or help with homework, reading etc, this could lead to a child not reaching his/her full potential and he/he could fall backwards in their intellectual development. This could also lead to bullying from his or her peers as other children may label the child as ???slow??™ or ???thick??™.
Finally, children can be affected by many of these external or internal factors in all of their stages of development holistically, or just for a short period of time in their life??™s.
That is why it is important to communicate and understand children and observe what is happening through out their childhood years.