The adverse role of poverty in the socialization processes in the family and in the cognitive development of children and school performance
Keywords:Poverty, family stress model, socialization processes, low cognitive development, low school performance
The present paper addresses the adverse role that poverty plays in the socialization processes and in the cognitive development of children and adolescents as well as in their school performances. The family stress model (FSM) related to economic hardship proposes that poverty leads to economic pressure in families and that economic pressure increases the possibility of negative emotions in parents such as demoralization, distress, anxiety, anger and alienation. Low income and poverty affect parental emotions, behaviours and relationships adversely, and disrupt family functioning, effectiveness and socialization processes by reducing parental sensitivity, warmth and supervision and increasing the practice of conflictive, neglectful and inconsistent socialization in parent-child relationships and interactions as well as exercising harsh punishment. Poverty also reduces parents’ efforts towards socializing and educating their children in order to help and contribute to their psychological, emotional, social and cognitive development. Researchers point out that poor and demoralized parents are less actively involved in child-rearing practices and activities that contribute to cognitive skills and school performance of children, such as reading and effective, substantial, prolific speech or helping children with homework. It has been suggested that the family stress model related to economic hardship has an increased risk of producing negative consequences in children such as low intelligence scores, low cognitive skills, low educational attainment and low school achievement when their families experience poverty and economic hardship.
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