Some questions for Week 11: Inequality in Childhood
1. How does poverty and low SES affect child growth and development patterns?
There is a strong connection between SES and childhood growth in terms of cognition (as shown by IQ and
o Intellectual growth – slide 13
2. Discuss the significance of brain growth in infancy and early childhood.
The science of ECD shows that brain development is highly sensitive to external influences in early
childhood, starting in utero, with lifelong effects. The conditions to which children are exposed,
including the quality of relationships and language environment, literally ‘sculpt’ the developing brain
3. What is the evidence for the benefits of nutritional supplementation in children?
Nutritional supplementation in childhood is the social equalizer (slide 17)
o This is because nutrition supplementation in childhood can reverse the damage in brain
development owing to earlier malnutrition. Therefore, in order to improve adult health in the long-
run, interventions need to be implemented at the childhood level. (slide 15)
The evidence is the INCAP study
o Gave energy sugar drink vs protein energy drink
o Found that children given protein energy drink had better performances on vocabulary tests
4. What are the various consequences of childhood malnutrition?
Look at slide 18
o Poor physical and mental development
o Poor school performance
o Increased susceptibility to illness
o Chronic illness
o Increased mortality rate
o Compromised immune systems etc
5. In what ways can the psychosocial environment of poverty affect child health?
Through (slide 21)
o Family disruption and separation
o Smaller social networks
o Less parental involvement
o Many changes in residence, childcare, schools 6. Detail the mechanisms through which physical and psychosocial environmental exposures can affect
adult physical health outcomes (see Cohen et al. 2010).
See slide 26 and 27
o Physical environments
Poor housing quality
Poor air and water quality
Poor food options i.e. grocery stores, fast food outlets
Quality of school infrastructure