The cultural capital of parents influences activities between parents and their children and the home environment. Some research suggests that a positive home and family environment is necessary to promote optimal brain development especially in young children and is equally influential to their future success (Jennison, 2014). The level of support that exists at the child’s home during the first the years affects a child’s aspects of school readiness which are self-control, thinking skills and self-confidence. The child’s brain forms connections which will either be weakened or strengthened by his or her experience. The quality f care a child receives at a very tender age will determine a pace for acquiring emotional, mental and social skills necessary to succeed in school and hence life.
The research suggests that the home environment of a child at an early age affects his well-being. Researchers ask some questions including if the home environment can affect the brain development of a child, how economic well-being and income of families affect children's well-being, how parents education affects the home environment and hence the child, and how emotional instability in parents affect the development of children (Jennison, 2014).
The research involved observing a broad range of home environments of children and after that measuring their development. Also, well-written questionnaire presented to consenting parents to fill in was used to gather information on home conditions. To determine the effect of home environment on young children educational response, interaction with kindergarten teachers and kindergarten staff and non-staff was necessary (Jennison, 2014). A well-structured questionnaire presented to non-staff was presented and significant.
Comparative method of research was used to analyze the data. Interviews and written questionnaire was used to collect information from infants’ and toddlers’ parents. The study involved observation of several homes of young children and how the children concerned are affected. An interaction with children at this tender age and in their homes was informative and necessary for data collection and analysis of the research. Interviews with young children professionals proved informative for the research. A comparison was made on the data collected from the home environments of young children and thus the impact on their development.
Research on brain image suggests the brain develop differently when a child's growth is in a poor environment. Living in an environment affected by poverty and chaos, for instance, leads to changes in the brain's stress systems and increase the vulnerability of a child to chronic diseases later in life. Studies suggest distinct patterns of brain activity relating to the socioeconomic status and family income in brain areas related to emotional and social development learning and memory and language ability.
It also suggests that family's economic circumstance and income affects the development of a child. Low family income affects the parenting children receive. Income-related differences' parenting is evident in early age. Low-income mothers are average or less responsive to child's distress signals and are more likely to have parenting styles that are harsh. There is a chance that poor or low-income parents are unresponsive and stressed, and the home environment is likely to be chaotic. The parents provide less stimulation cognitively and show less sensitivity. Economically unstable mothers spend less time in activities with their children and talk less or are less engaged in comparison to middle income and financially strong mothers. Children from economically challenged homes have less access to learning materials and have fewer stimulating experience than high-income children. Lo-income children then tend to have more behavioral problems and low cognitive scores.
In another instance, Parental education seems to have a strong influence home environment of children and hence child outcome. The increase in education in mothers of infants and a toddler is shown to improve young child's language development and home environment.
Maternal depression is one form of emotional instability. Most mothers experience some symptoms of depression immediately after giving birth. Mothers suffering from depression are most likely not able to provide the positive experience the infant needs. These mothers' parenting styles can be either overstimulation or under stimulating. This depression state can negatively affect behavior, cognitive development and school readiness of a child.
For children’s development, psychological characteristics such as relationships with peers or parents and the effects of the physical environment are very significant. Indeed, the environment extremely influences development outcomes including cognitive, social and emotional development, academic achievements and even parenting behavior.
Jennison, K. M. (2014). The impact of parental alcohol misuse and family environment on young people’s alcohol use and behavioral problems in secondary schools. Journal of Substance Use, 19(1-2), 206-212.