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Developmental Psychology: Effects of Poverty on Child Development

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

developmental psychology effects of poverty on child development

Hello, everyone. I hope you’ve had a great weekend.

Today’s blog post will be on developmental psychology. Focusing on the effects of poverty on child development.

Personal update:

Wow, this past week has been very busy as I’ve been home from University for the past week and I’ve been doing a lot of creative projects as well as seeing family.

But as the busy week is mainly as a result of writing, let’s move into the writing update.

Writing update:

When it came to study week, I had 3 main focuses besides seeing family and they were finishing Garro: Heresy, record the podcast episodes and record A Guide to Mental Health and Treatment around the World. (I may edit that title in the future. Especially, as in my head I always call the book Global Mental Health. Comment down below your thoughts on the title)

Basically, the main focuses sort of got done but a lot more happened as well.

So, the podcast recordings went very well, and I’ll be releasing the first episode in two-week times so I’m excited! And it turns out that I love podcasting because I can express myself in the audio format and I don’t know… it feels good to be able to connect with readers easily.

I managed to write 7 chapters of Garro: Heresy and I have another 8 to do which I will do this week.

However, something that I love about writing is it can evolve and change as you’re writing. I’ll brief hint at two such occurrences while writing this book. The first is that I knew something was going to happen to Maura and make her character a mystery between Garro book 3 and book 4. But I didn’t know what and when I got to writing it. I created a very interesting and a much more complex storyline than I originally intended. (Don’t worry it’s still a very engaging storyline) then the other occurrence is to do with the God Magi which if you read or listen to the Garro: Short Stories. You’ll probably love the concept of her. Anyway, it turns out that I’ve managed to engineer a very shocking twist in the tale of the God Magi and given her a physical form of one of the main characters from the last series. You won’t be able to guess who the God Magi is though.

Anyway, the whole point is that I love the ability to be able to evolve and develop my stories as I write because some authors don’t allow this evolution in their stories which I think is a shame.

In addition, I have an idea for another Garro series which I’m still developing but I just wanted to let you all know that Garro books 7-9 could be created and published in 2021- so it’s something to look forward to.

I know I’m talking for quite a while now, so I’ll summarise the rest:

· In roughly March/April 2020 I’m going to be looking at merchandise. Like: mugs, art prints and more because I found a print on demand service for merchandise called: which I’m interested in as it means that I can create potentially 100s of merchandise products without having to order, store or dispatch them myself. COMMENT DOWN BELOW IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC THINGS YOU WOULD WANT TO SEE IN MY MERCHANDISE IDEAS.

· I’ve recorded A Guide to Mental Health and Treatment Around the World, so I’ll edit and publish it this week and then I’ll email my subscribers about when that’s available on Amazon as it takes a few weeks. But you should be able to find it on Kobo, your local library and other major stores (not amazon, audible or iTunes) by Sunday.

· Finally, I’m going to write some business books for the purpose of writing for the market (writing for the purpose of making money) compared to writing the psychology and sci-fi fantasy books which I write for pleasure mostly. This I will keep separate from this website and this main business but if any of you are interested in business books. I’m going to releasing them in November/ early December so just contact me if you’re interested in knowing more. The business books before Christmas will be on Business Skills, Leadership, Personal Finance and Time Management.

Wow, that was a lot of information- onto the developmental psychology blog!

Developmental Psychology- Effects of poverty on child development:

As previously mentioned last week was my study week at university and as I don’t have any new content that could easily form a blog post. I decided to show you an extract from my book Developmental Psychology. (You can get an extra £1 off this book if you buy before the 4th November 2019)

Extract from Developmental Psychology: Chapter 8

Poverty is the state of having no or little means to fulfil basic needs and as a result of that, a number of outcomes can arise that inhibit development.

Brooks and Dunn (1997) summarised that poverty has a number of key outcomes:

· Physical health as poverty leads to stunted growth, malnourish and low birth weight.

· Lower cognitive ability

· Poorer school achievement

· Emotional as well as behavioural outcomes such as showing more aggression or fighting behaviour while feeling depressed or anxious on the inside.

The researchers suggested a number of pathways as well. These pathways are other factors that affect development in addition to family income.

· Availability of nutrition

· The physical condition of the home

· Amount of time parents spent with children

· Parenting style

· Punishment practices

· Parent’s mental health

· Neighbour conditions

· And many more…

Models of poverty:

There are two main models or theories that try to explain and predict the deciding factors in the argument of what factors affect development the most.

· The family stress theory states that the main variables that affect development are family-related. Like: parenting styles and communication strategies.

· The investment model states that the most important pathways that affect development are associated with real goods. Such as nutrition, opportunities to learn and enriched environments.

Personally, if you combine the two theories, I believe that you would be spot on and both are very true explanations to the factors that affect poverty the most.

Pollitt (1995)

· Researchers carried out a study on four very poor villages in Central Guatemala for the course of 8 years.

· The participants were made up of over 2000 children and mothers.

· As protein was the main nutrient missing from the villager’s diet. The villagers were given a nutrient supplement.

· Participant from two villages received a high protein supplement whereas the two other control villages got a supplement that contained far less protein.

· Results showed that a significant drop in infant mortality in both sets of villages, but with a 69% decrease in villages taking the high protein supplement compared to only a 24% decrease in the other two villages. Children on the lower protein supplement suffered a slower rate of growth and a slower rate of recovery from infection. They also learned to crawl and walk slightly later on average. Because these undernourished children remained small for their age, adults may have treated them as if they were younger than their actual age.

· In conclusion, this shows how poverty can affect psychological development.

Critical thinking:

A positive of this study is that it has high ecological validity as the experiment uses a natural, real-world setting. In turn, this increases the generalizability of the findings, so we apply the results of the experiment to different situations.

However, as a result of this high ecological validity where other factors that could influence cognitive development aren’t controlled. We cannot say with unshakable certainty that protein was the only factor that could have given us these results. As factors could have potentially played a role. Like: illness, genetic factors and other missing nutrients from their diet.


Poverty can have a number of impacts on development.

There are a number of factors that impact development as well as family income.

The two main theories or models in relation to the effects of poverty on development are:

· The family stress theory

· The investment model

Pollitt (1995) demonstrated how important protein is in cognitive development.

I hope that you found that psychology post interesting and if you want to learn more about developmental Psychology then please check out my book: Developmental Psychology and if you buy before the 4th November 2019 then you can save yourself £1.

Have a good week.

Kind regards Connor.

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