Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Living in poverty effects children’s development from start

A new analysis of Growing Up in New Zealand (GUINZ) data released today contains some “disturbing and challenging findings”, according to the Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft.

Babies who experience poverty and hardship in the first year of life are at greater risk of later emotional and behavioural problems than babies living in better material circumstances.

The new report identified a difference in babies' temperaments, strongly associated with their living conditions at nine months. This is particularly significant because other research indicates that negative emotions and behaviour as a baby, such as being unsettled or angry, are associated with problems later in childhood, including hyperactivity, anxiety and depression, and conduct problems.

“In fact the report tells us that babies, whose mothers reported high levels of material hardship when their children were around nine months old, had almost triple the risk of negative emotions and behaviour than babies who didn’t live in hardship,” says Commissioner Becroft.

"We already knew that living in poverty sets children up for poor physical health, such as respiratory problems. But this research tells us it affects their social, emotional and behavioural foundations as well, and from the earliest months".

“This data shows us clearly that the tentacles of poverty and material disadvantage reach into many areas and aspects of an infant’s life. Living in poverty with a baby has profound negative effects for mothers and their children. The worse the poverty, the worse the impact. It’s vital that we recognise the wide-ranging effects child poverty has.

“That’s why the Child Poverty Reduction legislation is of such crucial importance. Reducing material hardship and poverty for families with children should have flow on effects that benefit child, mother, and the community as a whole” says Judge Becroft.

“We know the first three years of life are a crucial foundation where both positive and negative development starts. These findings show that we need to be supporting young families better, right from the beginning.”

Judge Becroft looks forwards to more analyses of the GUINZ data. The babies whose experiences were analysed in this report are now eight years old. “How these children have fared in the past seven years is something we can learn from” he says.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

Nearly ten weeks after the huge Hong Kong protests began, managing to still get 1.7 million people onto the streets in the rain is a testament to how strong the pro-democracy movement has become...

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>

ALSO:


Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>

ALSO:

Unscoped Or Missed Damage: Resolution For Canterbury Owners Of On-Sold Homes

People with over-cap on-sold* properties in Canterbury can now apply for a Government payment so they can get on and repair their homes. More>>

ALSO:

Hamilton-Auckland: First Urban Growth Partnership Signed

New Zealand’s first urban growth partnership between the Government, local councils and mana whenua was signed at a meeting of mayors, chairs and ministers in Hampton Downs today. More>>

ALSO:

Vote On Action Next Week: Secondary Principals Walk From Negotiations

“Unfortunately we consider there is no further value in continuing negotiations at this point. The government has not been able to table an offer that will be acceptable to our members.” More>>

Patrol Car Stolen, Glocks Taken: Manhunt In Gore

The driver rammed the patrol car before fleeing on foot with Police chasing, also on foot. The man has then circled back around, stolen the patrol vehicle, which had the keys left in it, and rammed another Police car... Two Police-issued Glock pistols were stolen. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels