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The impact of the socioeconomic status on children

By Ana Niculae August 06, 2021

In this blogpost we will be focusing on the socioeconomic status and its impact on children

The socioeconomic status has been determined before a child is born already, so where a child ends up depends on the parents. Of course, through the course of life, the child can change the status, but until that moment, they are entirely on their own. 

Socioeconomic status has an impact on the development of a child and can influence how they will view the world, their work/learning ethic, health, it can even have an impact on the child’s characteristics. For instance, children who come from a low-income to middle-income household will know the importance of having food compared to high-income households. In low-income households, what you get served is what you eat. In some extreme cases, sometimes there is not enough food or no food at all. The way this impacts a child is by knowing how important money is, because with money you are able to buy food and provide for the family. Another consequence of knowing how important food is, is to know that one should not waste food. Compared to a family with a high-income where food is overflowing and choices are everywhere, it is easy for children to take food for granted. How a child views money and food will reflect when they are older. For example, children from low-middle income families would not easily go out for dinner or spend money on take-out since making food at home is cheaper. Outdoor activities for low-income families are rather to be avoided, since these activities can cost a lot. While for high-income families, outdoor activities are a very common part of their lives. For every income family, whether high or low, a significant difference can be seen on how they will use the money.

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Another topic regarding the socioeconomic status of children is in relation to education. The correlation between education and one's socioeconomic status can have an impact. Studies have proven that children coming from low-income families have a harder time studying. This can be due to many factors. The environment could be one of the factors. For example, if the child is hungry, focusing on studying will be very difficult. Or if the family lives in a neighbourhood that is not safe, or there is a lot of noise it can take away the focus of the child. Another example can be language. Studies have shown that families who come from an immigrant background, who do not speak the language the family is living in, then it can be difficult for the parents to help their children. Due to the fact that the parents cannot speak the language and therefore cannot help the child with for example, homework or explaining a school topic etc. When looking at a high-income family, these families can afford to have a tutor, or other extra lessons. This can result in higher grades when compared to a child from a low-income family. Not only can the outcome be seen in primary education but in high education as well. For example, high-income families can have more access to better schools, in other words better education, which can lead to good job opportunities as well. This is because high-income families are probably familiar with some of the faculty members of that certain school, since the parents went there as well, or it can be due to the fact that wealthier families are in a certain social circle. Sadly, these opportunities do not count for low-income families. These days, there are schools on every level that do offer scholarships, however, these scholarships are not easy to attain. To break this circle, a lot should change, which should benefit the poor and not the rich.

These are only a few examples of how the socioeconomic status can impact a child. Of course, as mentioned earlier later in life a child can choose their own path and make life better for themselves. However, there is no doubt that childhood reminiscence regarding the socioeconomic status can still impact a child until they reach adulthood. 



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