According to this article, fear was the biggest problem the latchkey children faced. The following points are summarized: 1 the emotional impact of the latchkey situation depends on the situation, but fear that someone would break into the house was the most common fear and hiding the most common method of coping; 2 socialization was limited because of lack of contact with parents and friends; 3 cognitive deficits existed among latchkey girls and greater concern about homework; and 4 increasing numbers of alternative programs are becoming available. But how bad was life as a latchkey kid, anyway? Allow each child to offer her or his input concerning all family matters. Deborah Lowe Vandell and Jill Posner followed 216 low-income urban children living in a Midwestern industrial city from third grade through fifth grade and examined the adjustment of the children by the children's age and the type of self care children experienced. Since after-school program legislation passed in 1998, that number has dropped in all categories. The boys try to retain their youth while they see constant gang violence, death of close friends, their brother in jail and their dad struggling with a drug addiction.
Since that time, a number of studies described below that were conducted in the 1990s have found that the effects of self care depend on the type and amount of self care, characteristics of the children in self care, and the circumstances in which the children live. Although children from single parent working families and lower income children do spend time home alone, children from higher incomes actually spend more hours alone. Research by the University of California and other universities found a relationship between the amount of self-care and drug abuse in 8th graders regardless of other factors, such as income and extracurricular activities. Socioeconomic status and length of time left alone can bring forth other negative effects. Businesses and industries as well as schools are urged to establish sound and well-integrated policies for parental involvement.
These children, in turn, face a growing number of problems such as physical and sexual abuse, crime and delinquency, depression and suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, emotional and behavioral problems, learning difficulties, school attendance problems, domestic violence, pregnancy, abortion, and venereal disease. The nuclear family system is on the rise so the earlier joint family support system is lost. Deborah Belle, author of The After-School Lives of Children: Alone and with Others While Parents Work suggests that being left home alone may be a better alternative to staying with or older siblings. In what ways will these children be effected? It is frustrating to know that violence among the children of America is increasing in many aspects. The effects are not always negative. Other studies reported poorer academic and social-emotional adjustment of children experiencing self care. The total number of unsupervised kids in 2014 is down from 2004, when or 25 percent of all K-12 students went home alone.
They juggle their schedules so that one of them is home in Bethesda, Md. They worry about the potential liability should an unattended child be hurt, molested or abducted while at the facility. Positive effects of being a latchkey child include independence and at a young age. I believe that this helps me to support the children in my reception class. Government funded programming that provides free care for kids before and after school has been proven to decrease the number of latchkey kids; however, funding shortages have resulted in cuts to these programs. One child might thrive in a structured after-school program, while another does better spending his after-school hours at a nieghtbor's house. They worry about the potential liability should an unattended child be hurt, molested or abducted while at the facility.
However in 2009, budget challenges cut funding for many after school programs putting more children at risk of becoming latchkey kids. Drug use is higher among latchkey kids. Responsible for the Crimes of their Children How can someone who does not commit a crime get charged for the crime committed. Studies on the effects of the latchkey phenomenon report conflicting results. Some of my main duties include: Ensuring children have access to learning materials and resources Observing and monitoring pupils performance and reporting my findings…. But the numbers are mostly down among wealthier families, not the poor.
Other studies have shown that latchkey children are at a higher risk for substance abuse and injury than supervised children. The percentage of children from single parent families going home alone dropped from 24 to 14%, and children of married couples with both employed dropped from over 20 to about 15%. In Horner, there are two gangs that claim it as their turf, and the Rivers family is constantly ducking from shots of gunfire there. Posner and Vandell also investigated the effect of unsupervised time with peers. Single parents may have to work outside the home to support the family.
In conclusion, the developmental impact of self care appears to depend on the circumstances. Latchkey kids seem to do better than day-care kids in perceived self-confidence and peer acceptance. Some possible consequences of child self-care are feelings of rejection on the part of the child, rushing children into responsibility too early, delinquent behavior, accidents, sexual victimization, and the possibility of encouraging the experimentation with drugs, alcohol, and sex. Children raised in poverty-filled families will experience several short-term effects as well as long-term effects. The researchers analyzed time diaries on 1,500 children ages 5 to 12 in 1997. As children get older, they are more likely to be latchkey kids.
History of the Terms The term refers to the of a door to a house. All of these factors play a role in the health of a child. Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach. Should middle school students be left alone after school? However, some children experience positive effects, such as an early development of self-reliance, adaptation to difficult situations, and a desire to contribute to a visible need in the household. Ways to Keep Your Latchkey Kid Safe after School Here, I've rounded up tips from Circle of Moms members who have latchkey kids as young as 9 and 10, on making sure your children stay safe while fending for themselves until you finish the workday. After school programs that are reputable and well-organized have shown positive social, emotional and academic benefits for children. Will these effects show outwardly? For more information, please visit: Myth vs.