The Effects of a Child's Environment on Their Behavior

The environment that a child grows up in may have a significant effect on what he becomes in the future. This environment can exist in their house with parents or outside in the neighborhood. While any child is able to disengage from his negative environment and become something else, the environment still has an affect on the child. Only with therapy and support can a child remove himself emotionally from an unhealthy environment.

  1. Abuse and Neglect

    • If a child lives in an environment with abuse and neglect, she can have long-term emotional and mental problems, states. This includes establishing a psychiatric disorder, such as depression, panic attacks or eating disorders. All or some of these disorders could develop as the child tries to control her environment when she ventures into adulthood. Children who grow up in an abusive or neglectful situation can also exhibit violent behavior or drug abuse. In order to help a child avoid negative behavior consequences, long-term behavioral therapy is a necessity.

    Strict Parenting

    • A strict environment where the child's views don't matter can have overall negative consequences on the child. According to, a child that comes from a strict environment is five times more likely to become obese. A strict parent has rules regarding everything including food and may order the child to finish his plate without giving him an option. Strict parenting could also cause significant anxiety as the child hasn't learned to think independently. The child will need to start developing opinions and making choices as he gets older in order to combat the strict parenting.

    Moderate Parenting

    • Children who have parents with a moderate parenting style are the best adjusted, states. An example of moderate parenting style is when a parent issues rules within the household but still takes into account the child's opinion. The child is given freedom within the rules and therefore knows how to set boundaries for herself.

    Neighborhood Influences

    • Neighborhood influences on a child are significant. A child that comes from a violent neighborhood may be more likely to participate in negative activities, such as gangs and fighting. A positive neighborhood environment encourages the child socially, mentally and physically. The neighborhood environment also impacts the child's feeling of safety. If a child hears gunshots during the night, he probably doesn't consider his home environment as safe. But if a child has friends in the neighborhood, he still regards his home as a safe place.

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  • Photo Credit child image by Byron Moore from

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