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Role of Social Exclusion in Children's Development

Social exclusion is a characteristic multidimensional social disability in which children are denied their rights because of whom they are. The society with such disabilities is characterized with blocked access to rights such as health care services. It therefore, deprives children their choices and opportunities. Thus it is based upon the discrimination of individuals against a certain basis. These children are blocked from such rights are hindered from development. Hence one section of the society belittles the children and the dominant part uses this to strangle the latter from achieving opportunities.

According to Bailey (2004), use of bureaucratic power is imposed to perpetuate the dominant group and rank. The rights denied are thus the vital to social integration. With social exclusion having many faces there are circumstances that show a child is socially excluded. Thus when a child is socially excluded it is depicted by inability to participate and be identified by the society. Lack of participation is not only considered hurting but is a necessity in life. Therefore children ought to interact and be identified as equal in the society.   

Identity formation

The cycle of personality distinction and eventually develop character form an identity. When one is therefore born he individuals progressively define themselves. Individuals would in turn develop a distinct character from the rest. Callaghan (2003), states that during the adolescent period an individual creates his own identity amongst sexual partners, friends and cultural practices. During this periods of time identity formation is more conspicuous than the recent past. There is variety of acceptable identities today. Though there are factors that influence formation of identity such as birth rights, social background, religious sects and parental status.

This is becoming more complicated due to technology as the youth end up mimicking other people influencing bad motives. Identity formation therefore makes one to develop a personality. Therefore unstable foundations of identity may lead to devastating future outcomes. Adolescents are the most vulnerable to this. Youths are encouraged to avoid identity theft at all costs. Formation of one identity can also be a secluding factor among the rest for proper development.

Adolescence is a time for self evaluation impacting into self identity. It involves experimenting beliefs, behaviors and notions. Recent surveys carried out revealed that, there is transitional nature of self identity during this period. Students from different class categories were administered interpersonal identity scale (N = 356). 55% of the samples fell into one of the discrete identity status group, 62% were either diffused or foreclosed, and gender differences were explored. However, friendship, dating and sexual roles were salient amongst the sample mainly in the foreclosed and diffused emphasizes Allison (2001).  

Causes of social exclusion

There are many forms of social exclusion and the linkages are interconnected and overlapping. Thus it is difficult to point out a single specific cause in this context. Children may be excluded from development intentionally in favor of others. Thus the children are susceptible to being belittled within the society. Therefore the causes of social exclusion include: poor housing, low incomes, poor skills, ill health, unemployment, crime, family disintegration and disabilities. However, social exclusion in the society i.e. towards developing children does not happen due to the combination of its causes. Social exclusion among children therefore refers to mainly their living conditions and future prospects. It may in this event result from the child’s future prospects. Children who suffer from a certain liability hamper their future chances. Some of the liabilities are traditional dimension of development of children i.e. education, health, teenage parenting and institutional exclusion.


Poverty engulfs most of the societies in the world. It is hence the lack of basic necessities food shelter and clothing; children who suffer from this have fewer opportunities than the contrary. Socially poverty is mainly viewed as a state of mind rather than materially i.e. deprivation and limited security to developing children. There are various types of poverty such as absolute and relative poverty. Thus poverty’s effect compromises a child’s development. Hence the child has less access to resources vital for development.

Poverty is one of the major hindrances to development. Gilbert (2005) suggests that recent surveys show that about 20% of the world’s population suffers from adverse poverty. The real picture is 1.3 billion people affected live below the dollar a day mark. Furthermore it was revealed that about 10 million children die annually from hunger and diseases closely related to poverty which could have otherwise be prevented. Most of them being below the age of five years are critically affected by this social crunch. Averagely 30 thousand children die daily i.e. a child per second. Statistically it is asserted that for instance if certain towns say Northampton was struck by a deadly disease with the number of deaths being the same daily; the whole population would be wiped out by a week’s time. It is therefore depicted that the death rate annually in children due to poverty is measurable with sixty towns’ equivalent to Northampton annually.

Therefore major comparisons were made to clearly analyze children living in vulnerable and privileged neighborhood:




Privileged neighborhoods

Non-privileged neighborhood 



N =12


Physical health and well-being




Social competence




Language and cognitive




Emotional development




Communication skills and general knowledge




Survey carried out in Vancouver school board kindergarten revealed that 7 of 23 neighborhoods had no special requirement. Special needs children were thus more vulnerable than the non-special needs children on each of the scales. Hence the survey depicts the liabilities of the special needs child from the privileged child. These clearly show social exclusion of the children with special needs (Gilbert, 2005).  

Education houses potentials to eradicate poverty. With the escalating effects of poverty staring, it is estimated that about 100 million lack access to education. Young aged individuals who have so far finished with primary education are less susceptible to contract diseases such as HIV/ AIDS than those who lack education or rather do not complete primary education. Therefore the less fortunate individuals lack resources such as education due to their position. Increased primary schooling globally would reduce the number of HIV/ AIDS contractions to be less 700,000 individuals annually. For implementation of primary education it is budgeted to cost $10 billion annually as compared to that spent on ice-cream in the USA to be $11 billion. Less focus on this by responsible bodies would deprive child development its significance (Gilbert, 2005).

Poverty in turn secludes the child from the rest of the society. It hence denies him the chance to equal rights as other children from other domains. Living a life not expecting the fifth birthday is not in any way admirable to anybody. The affected child’s development is utterly contrary to the other child as they will struggle to get out of the cocoon which at times failure demands. Poverty induces serious development risks to children. The mortality rates of children who live in adverse poverty are much higher than those on other parts. This is due to accidental death caused by health status i.e. preventable diseases. The status of poverty is similar to the number of school absenteeism and decreased maternal rating of child health. There are statistical evidence concerning level of literacy and primary education, these records concerns three major countries namely Canada, United States and Sweden. The table below gives clear scale on literacy level.

Quantitative scale











United States










To these three countries there system of early child development have basis that duel on cultural principals, the individual principles calls for families have to bring up children in way they deem fit. The government has a role set budgetary a location that caters for child care, the art of public spending that encourages removal of financial barriers in denying access to quality health, education among other basic needs. Social inclusion encourages plans to create city neighborhoods that are lifted both on social and economical concerns.

Poverty has a negative impact on both the health and development of children. For instance poverty among other factors has increased the number of neonatal and post-neonatal mortality, accidents and physical and mental abuse, high instances of asthma and non-appreciable development score during tender ages i.e. below 10 years. Availability of income is a direct proportionality of availability of basic necessities. Limited finances hinder the child’s development by distinctive mechanism. Therefore poverty stricken guardians have a set back in provision of intellectual stimulating resources and poor parenting behavior vital to child development.   


These include a variety of inadequacy neuromuscular, cardiovascular, orthopedic disorders which induces disabled motor ability. Apart from that there are also blindness, deaf, dumb among others. Individuals with such effects are relying on assertive devices for motor ability. Physical disability may either be congenital or as a result of accidents. Children who are affected by a certain disabilities face seclusion within their own societies. This is because they are regarded us garbage i.e. useless. Therefore they are rendered less access to resources (Pace, 2004). 

Stigma is one of the major effects of such children. Hence individuals are excluded from various kinds of social activities. Humans have cognitive adaptations which causes this seclusion which interferes with the development of persons suffering from such. The disable are in turn equal chances similar to the rest of the society.

In spite of the differences among handicapped children and normal ones, child welfare bodies have recognized social exclusion. They hence have to put up with discrimination during their normal working hours. Charities, churches and affiliate organizations have been are also sensitized of its consequences and dire effects. Programs have been initiated in support for the development of the disabled children. The main objective of projects is to mainly prevent social exclusion of children with handicaps and other related disorders (Pace, 2003). 

Crime and mental health

There is no society that instances of crime and mental health issues are not realized. Though crime and mental health varies from one social class to another, it is more rampant in lower class socio-economic groups. Thus any action which is associated with breaching of rules and regulations of the authority is considered as criminal. While mental health is mainly associated with the sanity of an individual. However, most criminal acts are not put into record, reported, no follow ups and lack of evidence makes it to hit a brick wall. Social exclusion among other factors that affect the society is witnessed to play a very big role in this.

During recent surveys that have so far been carried out show that young offenders have high morbid rates in various fields i.e. mental field. Most of them lack the potential to learn which hinders then from accessing relevant resources. The development of a workforce is therefore blocked from progressing leading to lack of skilled personnel. Apart from that female offenders are at great risk of developing psychological problems. Lack of proper and adequate analysis makes them more vulnerable to criminal acts and associated problems. Most young offenders emerge from the less fortunate groups which have less or no access to services. 

Sources have so far reported that the sensitization of assault amongst the young to juvenile justice services is very low. The society is thus faced with various kinds of violence amongst the adolescents include sexual assault influenced by ethnic and cultural set up. There hence different acts of violence perpetrated by girls and boys, escalation of gun-related which involve the youth. Furthermore drug, substance abuse, child trafficking and peddling is greatly affecting the young.  Young people especially children are involved in violence which affects their mental health (Pace, 2004). 

Development of such children affected with crime is more at risk and prone to more liabilities. Therefore provision of resources to the Young Offenders Teams (YOTs) requires many stakeholders to come in. Apart from that large investments are needed to boost their policy implementation (Pace, 2003).  .

Effects and prevention of social exclusion

Social exclusion amongst children has adverse effects on the affected individual and is very hard for them to cop up with healthy development. It is also an inheritable effect which may be passed from one generation to the next one. Most of their lives focus on adapting with the adverse conditions they face. The children’s future is highly affected by the decision their parents make and conditions of life. Limited opportunities are realized on the affected individual. Furthermore, individuals bound within cultural boundaries are the most vulnerable (Gilbert, 2005).

Parental income mostly determines the position and development of the child. Hence low income earning parents face a higher tendency of social exclusion. There is in this event a dividing line between the high income parent and the low income parent’s children. Therefore, education is vital for eradicating social exclusion. Social exclusion can be eliminated by education while considering various factors such as school and non-school elements. Hence when educated individuals have high chances of being employed and would in turn have a chance to evade exclusion. Therefore education plays a very critical role of social inclusion into the society. The affected kin would in this way develop with adequate access to resources.

Social exclusion in the development of children is a catalyst of strong motivations and emotions. During exclusion one loses contact with the society and the latter hence suffers from inequality. It therefore produces a sense of failure and conceive more problems than solution such criminology. There are so far a number of policies that have been implemented to counter children’s social exclusion. Thus child welfare associations have so far tried to combat such.

Role of social exclusion in children development

Children have risen to be the top discussion agenda in both government and non- governmental institutions, at various times in the last couple decades, only to fall whenever there is an economic turmoil, budget deficit or any other government related crisis. Example the recent witness in the rise of terrorism and national security, have brought about diverged attention by the government commitment towards the well being of human child in their families. This as a matter of fact, in many areas children and families have lost ground concerning the social exclusion is emerging as a major issue in many countries.

According to Gilbert (2005), a good example in Canada might include these facts: the over representation among the racial minority families and children among those living in abject poverty within the large cities and the denial of many basic services by the immigrant and refugees families, by 1989 the number of children living in constrained poverty is estimated to have increased by a 43%, a further 130% increment in the number of children, who have homeless shelter in the Canadian city of Toronto. The situation remains the same or worse in most of the commonwealth country members, it is common in the same countries to witness persistently higher rates of youth incarcerating. It remains evident from the records, whether the source of exclusion is emerges due to poverty, racism, fear of differences or even lack of political clout, the end result are consequently the same.

Social exclusion is an issue both in first world and third world countries and has been so far facilitated by globalization. Health services, water, shelter and good income are issues that surround it. Most organizations play a very big role in reducing the instances and contribute mainly in the development for sustainable living. Bodies so far been formed to necessitate its eradication.    

True the process of social inclusion remains complex and challenging, the whole concept calls for involving different dimensional meaning. There are several initiatives like the Foundation sponsors can be part of the team, and help in identifying the critical dimensions involved in the social being of human beings. Here are some of the dimensions that may encourage and develop social inclusion in an individual, group or family:

Valued recognition, this includes conferring recognition and respect on individual and groups, it may concern recognizing differences in children development thus isolating disability with pathology, hence supporting communal schools within the locality, that remains sensitive to culture and gender differences. Improve or create a notion to recognize common worth that extends through universal programs like developing a health care. Human development, social inclusion initiative is aimed at developing and nurturing talents, skills, capacity among choice of children and adults to live a live they value. This brings about contribution that they may find worth. It includes learning and developmental opportunities for all children and adults, the program can involve community children care and recreation programs, the initiative will have children growth promoting and challenging rather than having a merely custodial (Pace, 2003). 

Bailey (2006) argues that involvement and engagement, it is important to have individuals group or family engage in community life, through having the right and the necessary support to be involved in the community decision making. Have an example if youth engagement and control service for the youth in a given society, parents in to school programs, placing decisions that concern their children or even citizen engaged in the municipal policy decisions. These aspect may include having the material well being, the material resource allows parents and their children participate fully in the community life. The social inclusion factor may call upon sharing of physical and social space to develop opportunities for interactions; this can help reduce the social distance between people of different neighborhoods or social class.  Successful attempts through exploration will increase child’s self-confidence thus stimulate more exploration.

Social exclusion is similar in both adults and children but the most affected is the youngster who bears all the pain. During the development of youngsters, that is, children and adolescents one mistake can hence be paid for repeatedly. This will eventually interfere also with their adult lives from various perspectives. Therefore social inclusion is vital and moves to promote it are necessary. Development of children is mainly hindered or necessitated by their peers. Increased governmental involvement is being seen as the move seems fruitful. Social policies are now recognizing exclusion of developing children.   

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