Social Sciences Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

How can a child's background affect development?

Expert Answers info

vmoriarity eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write67 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Children who do not bond with their mothers or another human encounter severe difficulties.  Many studies have been done with Russian orphanages.  The bonding, which is when mothers or other caregivers hug, kiss, smile, and hold their babies is crucial to normal development.  Children who do not bond in this way during the first three years of life tend to be withdrawn, do not respond well to touch, and often encounter many other social issues.  While the research I reviewed states the bonding must occur during years 1-3, I tend to believe the bond must be truly nurtured for the first five.  My mother got sick when my brother was four years old, and he truly had many attachment issues, so much so that I researched this topic during college.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

niklyn1027 | Student

Both answers discuss very valid points about the disadvantages children have because of negative aspects of their childhood. Both authors fail to mention the educational impact on children.  From a financial stand point, children from poverty households do not have the same level of development entering kindergarten as their more affluent counterparts. For example, according to Susan O'Hara in her book "Teaching Vocabulary with Hypermedia, 6-12", children age 3 from poverty households are introduced to half the amount of new words a month as those children who come from professional households. This difference can impact how students do in school and later academic accomplishments.

Also the National Assessment of Educational Progress reports for 2009 show that poverty students in fourth grade score lower on sstandardized tests than students from households with higher incomes.

Across the subjects and across ages, poverty has a negative impact on student achievement. For this reason it is imperative that society works to overcome these differences.

shewolf442 | Student

Majority of the time, when a child has had a bad childhood, it leads to a life of absence of self-esteem, a caring heart, or any of the things that would make them want to be a better person. In my line of work I have seen children who have come from one parent homes(which all one parent homes are not bad homes it is just the way they have to be) and they think that they need to be bad to be heard or loved. So most of them turn to a life of crime, but when they get the help that they need from an early age things change for most of them.  However you will find many exemptions to that decree of people who have had a hard life producing  a success of themselves and people who have had a Silver spoon from the day that they were born(which means everything is handed to them without them having to do anything for it) spending everything that they are given and turning out to be an utter human wreck. It depends just how you gauge success and worth I guess. But it is normally true: if you are told you are loved from the moment that you are born then you will grow up believing you are loved and lovable and then if you are told you are worthless then you will believe you are worthless.