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Impact of Poverty on Child Psychopathology

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The development of psychology has witnessed corresponding shifts in examining the factors that interrelate mental health and the unique’s individual’s environment. Within this context of the investigation, several prominent links have been established. One of the most renowned examinations in terms of environmental effects on mental health occurs in poverty and child psychopathology. A growing body of research has emerged that attests to poverty’s adverse effects on children’s mental health. This essay examines how poverty affects child psychopathology.

When considering the effects of poverty on child psychopathology, it’ sits necessary to consider the expansive nature of mental health. In these regards, researchers have often focused on psychopathology in terms of behavioural problems and other dysfunctional or deviant behaviours that have emerged as a direct result of poverty. When these behavioural dysfunctions are considered, the link between poverty and childhood mental illness becomes highly pronounced. Hirst (2000, pg. 23) states.

Impact of Poverty on Child Psychopathology

The ONS survey the first major one of its kind shows that children from social class V (unskilled workers) are three times more likely to have a mental health problem than the offspring of social class I (professionals), and twice as likely as those in social class Il (employers and managers). What’s more, 10 percent of children from social class V have conduct disorders than 3 percent from social class I.

This statistical research reveals an important link between poverty and childhood mental problems. In these regards, it’ sits essentially to consider the overarching nature of this statistical data. In these regards, it demonstrates that the link between poverty and child psychopathology is a pervasive concern that is qualitative and quantified in terms of social class and employment levels. Still, it’ sits recognized that while this data demonstrates a strong correlation between poverty and childhood psychopathology, it fails to indicate the specific mechanisms that such processes occur.

When further considering the links between poverty and childhood psychopathology, several specific factors emerge. In terms of this investigation area, one of the apparent research considerations has been the connection between poverty and social exclusion (Hirsch 2000; Rutter 2003). This is a broad-ranging issue as the nature of social exclusion assumes an almost countless array of contexts. One of the most prominent among child mental health concerns has been the nature of children experiencing poverty attempting to function in relative affluence environments. For various socio-economic reasons, these children have often experienced social exclusion; for example, they lack the same access to entertainment options, clothing, or fashion. This social exclusion has then been linked to deteriorating mental health and behavioural problems.

Another primary consideration in terms of the connection between children’s psychopathology and poverty considers the broader environmental influences that poverty creates. Research has predominantly examined such questions from a qualitative perspective (Costello, Compton, Angold 2003; Rutter 2003). One concern has been the transitory lifestyle nature of individuals living at the poverty level. As families struggle with financial matters, the consequence is that they often move to different homes, communities, and even states. The effect on the child can be drastic. For instance, the child can increasingly find itself struggling to establish meaningful social relationships, affecting his or her developmental progress (Rutter 2003). Another prominent concern in these regards is that households of poverty often demonstrate low parent/child interaction (Mash 2002). This interaction takes on various forms, including an overriding lack of parental warmth, to a lack of parental supervision. It is no surprise then that behavioural problem or even more pronounced mental health issues emerge.

While a substantial amount of research attests to a strong connection between poverty and child psychopathology, arguments have been raised that question the extent that deprivation is detrimental to childhood mental health. One of the most prominent considerations in these regards has been advanced in Costello, Compton, and Angold (2001, pg. 2023). In this context of an investigation, the study revealed that “In this rural sample, poverty was only weakly associated with child psychiatric disorders.” This is a complex assessment, as it does not necessarily indicate that there is no connection between poverty and child psychopathology, but instead indicates that there may be other environmental factors that operate in conjunction with poverty to affect mental health. Notably, this study also examined the effects of poverty on psychopathology in terms of race, demonstrating only a slight difference between whites and African Americans, with whites having slightly higher mental illness rates.

Even as some research has indicated a lack of statistical correlation between poverty and childhood, it seems readily apparent that there are a substantial amount of considerations within this perspective. One of the primary concerns in these regards is that often the extent and persistence of poverty have been shown to play a significant factor in the relationship between poverty and psychopathology (Hinshaw 2008; Costello, Compton, Angold 2003). A prominent study that examined this correlation was Costello, Compton, Angold (2003). This study examined children’s psychopathology with a control group and a section of children whose families received significant financial gain during the course. The results indicated that after the opening levels among the ex-poor fell to those of the never- poor children, while levels among those who were persistently low remained high (odds ratio, 1.50; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-2.09; and odds ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.77-1.07, respectively). The effect was specific to symptoms of conduct and oppositional defiant disorders (Costello, Compton, Angold 2003).

In these regards, it’ sits clear that poverty’ poverty’s level and persistence play essential roles in childhood mental health. Other research has further examined the intensity of poverty situations (Hinshaw, 2008). These studies have revealed that in addition to the longevity of poverty situations, the more stringent poverty levels have been demonstrated to have correspondingly more severe effects on children’s children’s mental health. Still, in both instances, it’ sits noted that poverty only affects specific types of child psychopathological concerns. For example, child anxiety and depressive symptoms have been indicated to be non-affected by the poverty situation’s persistence levels. In addition to these considerations, a review of the research leads one to question the structural articulation of much of the psychopathological or mental health disorders as linked to poverty. In these regards, it seems highly possible that a bias exists in the research wherein individuals existing and functional within a poverty-stricken cultural environment have an increasing propensity to be labelled.

In conclusion, this essay has examined the effects of poverty on child psychopathology. In this context of understanding, it’ sits revealed that qualitative and quantitative research both prominently attest to poverty’ poverty’s ability to affect children’s children’s mental health negatively. Still, this essay has demonstrated that while from an overarching context, there is an undeniable link between poverty and psychopathology, in large part, these connections need to be examined in terms of specific environmental, economic, and longevity concerns. Still, there is a surprisingly strong quantitative research that connects poverty and psychopathology. While this research has significant ramifications for childhood mental development and health, it is also substantial. It further establishes prominent environmental influences on human psychological functioning outside of biological concerns. Ultimately, further research needs to be conducted on the specific aspects of poverty linked to particular psychopathology parts.

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