Child poverty refers to the state of children living in poverty where one was raised with limited resources. It is about not having enough money to meet basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter. Poverty can be detrimental to children as it impacts children’s development as they grow up, it affects their physical health, mental health, and social health. The impacts of poverty can be seen through physical health on how it can be neglected leading to physical sickness including impairments in hormonal functions, immune functions, and asthma.
It can also be seen in mental health as there are links between poverty and mental health on how adolescents can develop them like stress, trauma, and depression. Another way poverty impacts people is through social and emotional health as it affects one’s ability to develop proper relationships, the ability to understand emotions and behavioural problems. Child poverty affects children’s health not only when they are young, but also later in their lives as adults.Physical health refers to the way one’s body functions. Poverty impacts one’s body and causes long-term impairments, according to Evans and Schamberg, “childhood poverty increases allostatic load, a biological index of the cumulative wear and tear on the body, during the teenage years. Moreover, the longer the children had lived in poverty, the higher their allostatic load” (p.27). Allostatic load refers to to the long-term effects of continued exposure to chronic stress on the body.
Living in poor conditions can increase one’s allostatic load which affects the immune system and it can be ‘resetted’. This can lead to the increase of stress-related impairments in immune function, rates of infectious and chronic diseases, or blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. The life in poverty can lead to consequences in the child’s development physically as it causes damage to the body. Poverty has detrimental effects on children and affects them as they grow older. Childhood poverty is associated with poorer adolescent health and health behaviours, according to Kim Krisberg, “children living in low-income families are more than twice as likely to have asthma” (p.16). The studies show that being at a lower social class at birth affects one’s respiratory system and causes problems. Children exposed to long periods of chronic poverty was associated with the likelihood of obtaining asthma.
The research has shown that there are links between poverty and people’s long-term health outcomes. People who lived in poorer conditions are more likely to develop asthma than people who lived in a higher socioeconomic class. Poverty seems to be associated with cases of asthma attacks and affects the child physical development.Based on the lack or excess of basic resources due to a person’s socioeconomic status, it can determine one’s long-term health outcomes. There has been research studies that connects having a low socioeconomic status during childhood and being obese or overweight during young adulthood. According to Daphne Hernandez, an executive board member of the UH Texas Obesity Research Center, “There are behavioral and physiological underpinnings associated with residing in stressful environments that are associated with weight gain” (p.
1025). This study displays that being in a disadvantaged environment can impact the weight of one person and lead them to be obese or overweight. This is associated with the fact that there are more fast food restaurants, fewer grocery stores, lower levels of safety and fewer opportunities for physical activities for the disadvantaged group of society. It is more likely to happen to young women than boys due to the fact that adolescent boys are more likely to have a job at a young age getting the physical activity an adolescent needs. Childhood poverty contributes to the inclination of being obese and overweight.