Childhood Poverty and Health

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An economic situation known as poverty makes it difficult to meet the basic requirements of a family and children.

Children's health is significantly impacted by adversity. Children set the groundwork for their future health and development during the formative years of their development. Children's health is ensured by a positive and secure early existence. As a result, a key factor in the growth of healthy children is family income. Children raised in families with more material resources benefit from a safer environment and have more access to chances than children from low-income families. Children from lower-income households typically have worse health. The effect of poverty on health continues to later ages in life.

Thesis: This study explores the ways in which poverty affects the health status of children.

Effects of Poverty on the Health of a Child

Chronic Health Conditions

Poverty results in chronic health conditions such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, and obesity among the infants. Mothers from low-income families fail to consume the food required to promote proper development of the fetus. For instance, low caloric intake during the pregnancy leads to increased chronic health conditions among the infants. Mothers from low-income families suffer from psychological stress that influences cellular and hormonal immune processes in children (Kathleen, Duncan and Ariel 17289).

Increased risk of Psychopathology and Physical Illness

Increased risk of psychopathology and physical illness in adulthood. Chronic stress arising from the poor living conditions leads to a long-term adverse effect on physiological stress regulatory system and eventually, it results in pathology. Prolonged exposure to chronic stress and socioeconomic adversity leads to permanent neurobiology changes. These changes may also extend to emotional regulatory dysfunction during the adult life for children who grew up in poverty (Pilyoung, Gary and Angstadt 18443).

Increased Basal Measure of Blood Pressure in Underaged Children

Poor living standards lead to increased basal measures of blood pressure in children of 13 years and below. The impact on blood pressure disappears by the adolescence age but reappears again in adulthood. Poverty in early childhood damages the stress regulatory system, which makes it hard for the child to control pressure. Poverty also exposes children to increasing environmental risks as they grow up further putting them in a more health hazard (Evans and Kim 955).

Engagement Unhealthy Behaviors

Children growing up in poor backgrounds tend to smoke more than the youths from well-up families. Children from low-income families have lower social capital which increases the likely hood of a child to engage in smoking. Smoking has detrimental health implications on the smoker (Evans and Kutcher 6).

Negative Effect on the Working Memory of Children

Childhood affects the working memory of children. Working memory refers to a temporary storage that enables people to hold small amounts of information for a short period. Working memory is useful in reading, critical thinking, problem solving and language comprehension. Therefore, children from poor backgrounds have some learning problems compared to children from well-up families. They record lower psychomotor abilities compared with their counterparts from the wealthy families.


Growing up in a poor background has significant negative impacts on the health of a child. Some of the observed effects include chronic health conditions, increased risks of psychopathology, increased blood pressure, increased smoking rates, and depletion of working memory. Therefore, there is need to improve the living conditions of the young children because it will help to promote their health conditions.

Works Cited

Evans, W. Gary, and Pilyoung Kim. "Childhood Poverty and Health; Cumulative Risk Exposure and Street Dys-regulation." Journal of Psychological Science (2007): 953-957. Document.

Evans, W. Gary, and Rachel Kutcher. "Loosening the link between childhood poverty and adolescent smoking and obesity: The protective effects of social capital." Journal of Psychological Science (2011): 3-7. Document.

Kathleen, M. Zion-Guest, et al. "Early Childhood Poverty, Immune-Mediated Disease Processes, and Adult Productivity." JSTOR (2012): 17289-17293. Document.

Pilyoung, Kim, et al. "Effects of Childhood Poverty and Chronic Stress on Emotion Regulatory Brain Function in Adulthood." JSTOR (2013): 18442-18447. Document.

June 19, 2023


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