Poor living conditions may have a negative effect on children’s language skills – Innovita Research

Poor living conditions may have a negative effect on children’s language skills

You have to learn to be grateful for what you have, but it is impossible to deny that some people have it much more difficult than others. Living in disadvantaged situations can and will hurt you eventually. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian found that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are three times more likely to develop difficulties with language.

Sadly, thousands of our children are still living in very poor conditions, which affects their health and outlook to life. Image credit: Wikimedia

It is always heartbreaking to see children suffer in hardship. It is not their fault and yet they have to grow up having less than others. However, it is even worse seeing how these poor conditions affect their long-term health. Numerous studies have shown that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to be overweight, suffer from diabetes, heart conditions as well as poor mental health. Now scientists analysed more than 26,000 records of children who had a routine health review between 27 and 30 months and found that children from the most economically deprived neighbourhoods were three times more likely to have language and communication concern than those brought up in better-off areas.

But why there are setbacks like that? Well, these poor neighbourhoods often lack quality education facilities, have poor public health situation, insufficient access to services, high crime rates and pretty bad housing situation. All of this affects everyone living there, especially the smallest children.

Scientists say that policies have to be developed to help children avoid the factors that could hamper their speech development. This is very important, because reduced language and communication skills affect everything from emotional development and wellbeing to educational and employment opportunities.

James Boardman, one of the authors of the study, said: “Growing up in a disadvantaged neighbourhood where there is poverty and reduced access to services is closely associated with problems with pre-school language development. These results suggest that policies designed to lessen deprivation could reduce language and communication difficulties among pre-school children”.

Researchers also found that each week a child spent in the womb from 23 to 36 weeks was associated with an 8.8 per cent decrease in the likelihood of them having an SLC concern. Language is very important to us and everyone should try to make sure that children grow up with all the necessary skills they need in their lives. Children are the future and drowning them in poverty just reduces our chances of benefiting from something that they might create.


Source: University of Edinburgh