Negative Influence on Children's Psychological Development

Negative influences on a child can affect psychological development. These factors can come from a number of different sources such as home environment, social interactions and difficulties with scholastic ability. Psychological well-being during childhood is important for future cognitive and intellectual functioning, emotional stability and psychosocial development. Understanding the factors that could affect your child in these areas can help you lessen any potential negative impacts and decrease the likelihood of long-term issues.


Your child may be negatively affected by such family issues as sibling rivalry, conflict between you and your spouse, the death of a family member or by divorce. According to a study published in the "Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology," 65 percent of children who witnessed violence between their parents were less well-adjusted than those who did not 1. These types of issues can cause your child unnecessary stress that can lead to aggression, academic problems, unease in social situations and emotional issues.


Psychological development can also be hampered by peers. Negative influences in this category include having no friends, not feeling accepted, being picked on or bullied and losing previously established friendships. A 2003 study published in "Child Development" found that chronic friendlessness predicted internalizing psychological issues, such as depression, worry, fear and social withdrawal. Children who have issues with making friends may also have a more difficult time dealing with peer pressure during adolescence and the teenage years.

School-related Issues

Problems that affect functioning in the social or academic atmosphere of school could also interfere with healthy psychological development. This could include Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, learning disabilities, extreme shyness or physical abnormalities. The presence of any of these factors could make school difficult for your child and may affect emotional and social development. If not treated, ADHD and learning disabilities can also result in your child becoming disruptive in school and exhibiting behavioral problems in various settings.

Neighborhood and Other Factors

The presence of drugs, violence, crowding and poverty in the home or neighborhood can make it difficult to practice sufficient monitoring of your child. This type of atmosphere can also result in added stress, which interrupts emotional and cognitive development. Poverty, which affects quality of schools, health care and after school resources, can also be a negative influence on development. The added strain of these factors on your child could interfere with the cognitive development and emotional well-being.