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Understanding High Risk Factors in Child Development

1. Choose and explain one high-risk factor and how this factor negatively affects the child.
2. Explain how parents can support their children.
3. Specifically illustrate how parents/educators can assist a child with unpredictable behavior at home or in the classroom.

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1. High Risk Factors in Child Development

The following have been designated as individual risks by scholars:
-Poverty (or 'material deprivation' possibly due to low income)
-Mental illness of a parent or both parents
-Substance abuse by a parent or both parents
-Relationship instability between parents
-War (either direct involvement or as a victim)
-Maltreatment (either within the home or outside of the home)
-Premature baby (either naturally or due to ill health habits of the mother)
-Ethnicity (depending on the socio-cultural context)
-Disability and/or developmentally delayed
-Age (i.e. younger children are more likely to be neglected)
-Gender (i.e. female children are more likely to suffer from sexual abuse than male children)

I have listed the above in no particular level of importance, however, poverty has been deemed among scholars as one of, or if not, the highest risk factor.

Many children who are exposed to at least one of the above risk factors most likely will be exposed to another. For example, children who experience poverty are more likely to experience maltreatment, particularly neglect.
Source: Sedlak, A., & Broadhurst, D. (1996). Third National Incidence Study of child abuse and neglect: Final report. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Resources pertaining to multiple deprivation:

Burchardt, T., Le Grand, J. and Piachaud, D. (2002) 'Degrees of exclusion. Developing a dynamic multi-dimensional measure'. In Hills, J., Le Grand, J. and Piachaud, D. eds. Understanding Social Exclusion. Pp 30-43. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gordon, David, et al. (2000). Poverty and Social Exclusion in Britain. Appendix 3, page 80ff.

How risk factors negatively affect ...

Solution Summary

The solution will assist the student to discuss the high risk factors that negatively affect children, how parents can support their children, and how parents or teachers can assist children when they display unpredictable behaviour.

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