¶ … Family Income, Parental Attitudes and Environmental Influence on Children's Well-being and Achievements
Economic theory suggests that both time and money are critical resources to the well being of family members since income is used to increase well-being of children and parents. Moreover, income is used to enjoy leisure and purchase goods and services to improve well-being of family members. Typically, " less time available to the family, income constant, thus predicts lower well-being for some or all family members" (Burton & Phipps, 2011 p 396). In the contemporary environment, family income can lead to a development of children and youth's intellectual development. In other words, family income can assist in enhancing children health, educational and intellectual outcomes. Despite the general belief about relationships of family income and children development, there is still a disagreement about the causal effects of family incomes to the positive outcomes of children since unmeasured variables such as parental mental health, attitudes and ability can also affect children developmental outcomes. Essentially, parental mental health, ability and attitude can make parents to earn low incomes which can consequently affect children developmental outcomes and impede children's life chance. More importantly, there is a statistical significant between the parent's outcomes and children development. Despite the positive belief about the parents' income and children development, twins brought up by the same parents and exposed to the same environment can still achieve different development outcomes. In 2003, more than 12.9 million children under the age of 18 in the United States were living at poverty level. Based on the high poverty rate in the United States and its consequence on children developments, the issue has led this study to investigate the correlation between family income and child development.
The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of parental attitudes, parental income and environmental influence on children development.
Correlations between Family Income and Children's well-being and Achievements
Understanding the correlation between children development and family income is very critical within the contemporary research environment. Past estimates to establish the effect of family income on children well being has been plagued with measurement error and bias. Dahl, (2005) carries out an experiment using the "instrumental variables strategy to estimate the causal effect of income on children's math and reading achievement." ( Dahl, 2005 p2). The results reveal that rise of family income by $1,000 increases children achievement in math scores by 2.1%. Typically, an increase of $1,000 in the parents' incomes boosts 6% of children development. Moreover, increase in family income between $800 and $2,200 enhance children achievements between 5% and 12%. Despite the effect of family income on children development, effect of increase in the family income on children development depends on the number of children per parents. Parents with few of number of children will be able to enhance developmental achievement for their children than parents with larger number of children. (Duncan, Morris, & Rodrigues, 2011). In essence, children brought by up poor families have the high probability of being exposed to adverse home environments and face other challenges that can affect their developments. One of the major reasons that prevents literatures to unable to reach consensus is that a sudden increase in the incomes of poor families may not lead to the development of children because of initial exposure of their children to adverse environments when families are earning lower incomes. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004).
Since 1990s, the United States government has introduced anti-poverty program by providing cash assistance for families earning low incomes. For example, low income families earning approximately $4,204 receive 40% of their income as credits. The goal of the program is to reduce the poverty level in order to improve the children development. Despite the anti-poverty program introduced by the government, there is still large number of low income families in the United States. Typically, poverty is associated with increase in the level of parental depression stress, and poor health. These factors can affect parental ability to effectively nurture their children. For example, 27% of kindergarten in the United States living at poverty level have been exposed to the risks of depression because of the condition of their parents. Moreover, low income parents have been exposed to a higher level of aggravation and frustration, which consequently lead to poor verbal development of their children. The children of poor families are also likely to exhibit higher levels hostility and distractability in the classroom which consequently have adversely affect on their development. Typically, children from poor families are generally being exposed to a worse home environment, which may affect their development outcome at schools.
Blau, (2006) point out that "family background characteristics play a more important role than income in determining child outcomes. Policies that affect family income will have little direct impact on child development unless they result in very large and permanent changes in income." (p 261).
Meredith, Neri, & Rodgers, (2013) also investigate the effect of the family...
The authors argue that children brought up from single parents are likely to be exposed to adverse developmental environment compared to children living with their two parents. The authors point out that 21% of families in Australia are single parents and these families have at least one child who is below 15 years of age. In essence, four out of five of these single families were single mothers, and Australian social policy had acknowledged the risk factors associated to the children exposed to single parents. Typically, 34% of single parent in Australia are classified as low income families, and 44% of single parents are unemployed parents. By consequence, children brought up from single parents are likely to be exposed to fewer resources, which increase stress and trigger constraints on the children.
Yeung, Linver,. & Brooks-Gunn, (2002) argue that there is a substantial evidence that family income have a significant cognitive and intellectual development on children. More importantly, parent income has a significant effect on children's emotional development, social outcomes and cognitive achievements. The authors argue that the income level of a family assists in investing in purchasing materials, and services that assist in the development of children. Moreover, social goods such as schools, food, childcare, housing, good neighborhood environment, and learning materials can assist in enhancing children development outcomes. Thus, children from families with lower incomes will be unable to achieve positive developmental outcome because their parents can only have access to fewer resources to enhance their developments. It is essential to realize that investing in children learning is fundamental to their developmental success. Thus, low family income can lead to a detrimental effect on children because their parents may not have both monetary and non-monetary capacities to enhance their positive developmental outcomes.
Lennartsson (2011) investigates the effect of parental economic advantages to the development outcomes of adult children. Essentially, parental access to material resources are critical for the promotion of both social and economic development of individuals. Family transfers typically flow from generation to the other generations. The author argues that family supports are lower for children whose parents are unemployed because their parents may lack financial securities, which can make children to develop healthy conditions.
Romo, (2011) in his own case argues that effective parents' communication with children can enhance productivity of member of the family. Parents' communication with children about their finances is very essential. Without a solid knowledge and understanding of finances, people may face the risk of debt, bankruptcy, divorce and finance crisis. Despite the benefits to be derived from understanding the financial issues and children developmental outcomes, large percentages of Americans are reluctant to discuss their financial capabilities with their children and spouse Essentially, children are required to understand their parents' financial standings and capabilities to avoid making a poor choice because parents influence the methods their children socialize in the society . Children in high schools are required to take different courses in education that require financial obligation, and financial responsibilities, which generally fall on parents. Since children are confronted with the same financial problems similar to the parents, effective communication about parents' finances can have both positive and negative effect on children financial well being and developmental outcomes.
Jaureguizar, & Ibabe, (2013) provide correlation between family environment to the adolescent violence, aggression and other anti-social behaviors. Essentially, family environment that include family violence, increase in parental corporal behavior and moral internalization can lead to antisocial behaviors of children. Moreover, family economic status, and corporal punishment have statistical significant on the predictor of children antisocial behaviors.
Duncan, Morris, & Rodrigues, (2011) provide different argument by pointing out that social scientists are unable to able to agree whether parental income can have impact on children achievements. The authors argue that there is still a debate on the relationships between parents' incomes and children development. Duncan, Morris, & Rodrigues, (2011) use the experimental method to investigate the effect of parents' income on children school achievements, the findings of the experiment reveal that there…
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2007). Further, if child care hours increased between three and 54 months (4 1/2) years, their vocabulary scores are lowered by the time they reach 5th grade (Belsky et al., 2007). This suggests that long-term child care use has important implications not only on children's socio-emotional functioning but on academic achievement as well. Knowing this, it becomes more evident that parents cannot overlook the importance of choosing high quality child
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