Experiencing challenges with one or two social determinants will not necessarily have an influence on family and child health, however, as the number of determinants negatively impacting a family increases, the risks also increase.
When discussing early childhood mental health, it is important to remember to look holistically at children and their families. It is easy to develop a limited perspective of a family based on the context in which we meet them. Please see the list of the social determinants of health below. The list provides some examples of factors that may have a positive or negative influence on a family and child.
Income and Social Status
Access to affordable food
Access to transportation
Access to services
Social Support Networks
Presence of extended family
Influence of peers
Support from other families in the community
Education and Literacy, i.e., health literacy
Availability of literacy-friendly health resources and information
Availability of work for one or both parents in the community
Safe working conditions
Availability of child care for working parents
Availability of free or affordable resources and community events for families
Safe environment in which children can play
Safe home environment
Geographical location or isolation
Access to safe environments for community gatherings during the winter
Space within home, e.g., overcrowding
Living space, e.g., a house, apartment, or a shelter
Personal Health Practices and Coping Skills
Resilience and coping skills
Understanding of health information
Healthy Child Development
Understanding of child development
Availability of referral and assessment services
Clear, literacy-friendly information about child development and parenting
Biology and Genetic Endowment
Illness or disability in child or family
Availability of family doctors in the community
Access to emergency service
Roles and expectations
Cultural norms and expectations about child rearing
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