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Discuss how living in conditions of poverty can affect cognitive development. Discuss how living in conditions of poverty can affect cognitive development.

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schulzie eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There is an excellent book by a woman named Ruby Payne titled Poverty.  She makes the point that it takes more than money to change a person's social status.  We are raised a certain way, and those thoughts continue with us throughout life.  If a child is raised in a poor environment with a poor attitude toward education, it will determine what he thinks his future holds, and how he plans to get there. I have had very smart students tell me that "I'll never go to college, so what difference does it make?" It is hard to change an ingrained message like that and "it takes a village" to do it. If a student thinks there is nothing at the end of all this work, why should he try.  Also, he usually does not have the cognitive stimuli at home that other children have.  His parents are usually uneducated and cannot stimulate higher order thinking.  They usually work long hours and do not have time to spend with their children.  If they are at home, the conversations are generally about basic survival.  Also many of their home environments are not condusive  to learning --- 6-7 people in a one bedroom house, sharing a room with 2-3 siblings etc.  The elements of poverty work together to inhibit cognitive development.

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megan-bright eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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All of these posts have provided adequate information. I would also add that unfortunately, I just saw a news segment stating the the number of American children living in poverty has risen. Not only that, many of the children have parents who are married and parents who have a college education. Many of the parents also have full time jobs. We all know that the cost of living is rising tremendously, but wages are not.

http://news.change.org/stories/the-shocking-statistics-on-child-poverty

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It is interesting that #4, in focusing on the various social aspects of poverty, also describes elements of a different kind of poverty, that is time poor. To be honest, I teach and have taught very many students who hardly spend any time with their parents, but not because of their poverty but because of their wealth. They are so focused on their careers that the children come a definite second. Clearly, one of the crucial elements of a child's development is the amount of time parents are able to devote to them.

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missy575 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I agree with the 4th post. After working in Haiti for humanitarian aid several times, I have to say that motivation for intellectual stimulation becomes less when it appears that there is not a chance to receive a formal education. For some of these people, they are plenty happy without further forced cognitive development. Now this is not always the case. Some living in the poverty-stricken conditions of Haiti choose to think and relate with others causing great stimulation and growth. When you see the same failure over and over, you believe that failure is the only option.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are so many ways poverty can affect a child's development.  It begins in the womb, with the general health of the mother likely to suffer and the lack of prenatal treatment and nutrition.  This is also true early in the child's life.  The child is not likely to get proper preventative medical treatment, is more likely to be malnurished, and is more at risk for serious health problems like obesity from an improper diet.  There are also environmental risks, such as lead poisoning and pollution.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Poverty always restricts nutrition and often restricts restful sleep. Nutrition is essential to cognitive development and function, as...

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