Child Development


ArticleTitle:Bradley, R.H. &amp Corwyn, R.F. (2002). Socioeconomic Status and. AnnualReview of Psychology, 53(1),371-399.


Socioeconomicstatus SES is an area of increasing concern in social sciences.Historically, social scientists have argued over what parameters tobe used to define it. The most appropriate definition of SES is theone provided by psychologists which emphasizes on the idea ofcapital. Capital including assets and resources best explain SES inthat, access to financial, human, and social capital are clearlyconnected to processes that influence the wellbeing of an individual.It is measured using different parameters of family income,occupational status as well as education. Income and occupationalstatus best explain financial capital of a family. Social capital onthe other hand is assessed using factors like number of parents in ahousehold, the presence of grandparents. SES is linked to differenthealth, socio-emotional and cognitive outcome in children and itsinfluence is experienced before birth and endures throughoutadulthood. Children raised in high SES families receive a wide rangeof services, goods, parental support and social connections whichtheir counterparts in low SES lack. Although there is no standardagreement on the measure of SES, convincing evidence link it to thethree aspects of wellbeing including health, socio-emotional andcognitive outcomes (Bradley &amp Corwyn, 2002).

Childrenconceived in poverty (low SES) are likely to be brought inunfavorable conditions, with parents’ behavior being riskyincluding poor nutrition, alcohol and drug abuse, lack of prenatalcare and thus may be born with low birth weight or othercomplications including diseases (Bradley &amp Corwyn, 2002). Whenthey grow in the same environment, they lack health care, qualitynutrition, safety and their survival is at risk. These issues growthrough adolescent and adulthood and may affect the general physicaland psychological wellbeing of the person.

LowSES is linked with child cognitive development and affectsacquisition of knowledge even before they are born. Lack of propernutrition as well as poor social environment affects the cognitivedevelopment of a child, leading to low IQ. Poor social environmentinclude parents without education and unsupportive neighborhood. Somestudies establish that, maternal education is of significantinfluence on cognitive outcome of a child.

Finally,the link between SES and socio-emotional wellbeing is not as strongas that of cognitive achievement. However, studies have establishedan association between low SES and emotional instability andmaladaptive problems as compared to children from well off families(Bradley &amp Corwyn, 2002). Different factors influence thisrelationship and therefore may vary from situation to situation.

Theinterlink between SES and wellbeing of a child are complex and mayonly be understood through taking into account the different factorsrelated to SES that affect the well being of a child. They includeresources including health care access, nutrition, housing,cognitively stimulating resources and experiences, parentexpectations and style, and finally expectations and attitudes ofteachers.

Stressreactions between children from low SES and those from high SESdiffer greatly and influence the wellbeing of these two groups.Elements such as unstable employment, divorce, moving households leadto stress in low SES families and may lead to spouse or child abuse,drug use and abuse among children and resultant deviant behavior(Bradley &amp Corwyn, 2002). This may hinder education and lead to acycle of poverty.

Anotherlink between SES and the well being of a child is health-relevantbehavior/lifestyle. For instance members from low SES have unhealthylifestyle including smoking and alcohol abuse and do not diet orexercise appropriately.

Finallythe article looks at collective SES in explaining the multileveleffect of SES on wellbeing of a child. The SES of a communityinfluences the wellness of a child and in development to adulthood.


Thecurrent article is informative and has used a variety of sources fromother studies to address the topic of the relationship betweensocioeconomic status and child development. The use of a wideliterature, usually comparing ideas and settling on a credible ideamakes the article credible in addressing the issue. The article isdetailed and takes the reader to the conclusions of the authors.

Inaddition, I find the article well structured. The article has anabstract which introduces the reader to the issue at a glance. Thetable of content provided in the article is also part of thestructure, which gives the reader a sneak pick of what is covered.The various sub-headings used throughout the article also make iteasy to read and refer to a certain point.

However,I think the article being detailed is also a weakness. Theinformation presented is complex and may not necessarily beunderstood by a reader, who may only be interested in understandingthe relationship between SES and child development. The informationis presented in a complex manner, as the authors try to illuminate onthe complex nature of these relationship.

Anotherlimitation of the current article is that, it has used some sourcesthat are even more than two decades old. This can present lots ofoutdated information regarding the topic, and may jeopardize thecredibility of the article.

Throughoutthe paper, the author has been able to highlight deficits in previousstudies, which can greatly help scholars interested in pursuing thisarea. The authors also provide guidance for future directions at theend of the literature review. Nevertheless, the article’scredibility can be assured since it’s a peer reviewed articlepublished in a credible journal of the “Annual Review ofPsychology”.

Conclusively,the current article has been well researched and presented. It hasused a variety of sources to support the topic of study. Thestructure of the article is easy for the reader.


Bradley,R.H. &amp Corwyn, R.F. (2002). Socioeconomic Status and ChildDevelopment. AnnualReview of Psychology, 53(1),371-399.