Childhood Deprivation Fuels Impulsive Behavior: Study Finds

Can Childhood Deprivation Make You Impulsive

Psychology News

A research team at Aston University explored the association between childhood deprivation and impulsive behavior in adulthood. The study is published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

The Study

Researchers studied 146 child participants living in some of the most deprived areas in England. Each child was given a choice between taking home a small amount of money or getting £10 a week, or even more a year later.

Factors like wait time and value of money were observed. The results were tallied with a similar survey conducted with children living in some of the most affluent English neighborhoods.

The Findings

The results revealed that deprivation in childhood results in impulsive behavior in adulthood. “Deprived” children develop “trait impulsivity” or the preference for impulsive choices to enjoy immediate gratification.

This makes them vulnerable to uncontrollable impulsivity and addictive disorders related to binge eating, alcoholism, substance use, etc.

The researchers remarked: “Deprivation is one of many factors that can lead to impulsive behavior throughout a person’s lifetime. People who experience deprivation as children are more likely to choose to do things that, although they might be pleasurable in the short term, are unhealthy in the long run.

To Know More You May Refer To

Tunney, R. J., & James, R. J. E. (2022). Individual differences in decision-making: evidence for the scarcity hypothesis from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Royal Society open science9(10), 220102. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.220102

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