In the news: children living in poverty and cannabis law changes

Date: 12/12/2018 Written by: Rosie 3 minutes to read.
Research review

Child poverty, homelessness, the effects of technology, childrens mental health and cannabis. We want to get you thinking and talking, so below we have given an overview of some recently published research reports and articles covering a range of social issues.

4.1 million children in the UK are living in poverty

A new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that child poverty has continued to rise, passing the 4 million mark. The report finds that child poverty has increased by 15% over the years. Delving deeper, children from lone-parent households are more likely to live in poverty, with half of children from lone-parent families living in poverty compared to 1 in 4 children from dual-parent families. This is likely to be a result of low income, high housing costs and cuts to benefits and tax credits.

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320,000 people are homeless in Great Britain, finds new report

A new report by housing and homelessness charity, Shelter, finds that the number of homeless people in Great Britain continues to rise, with 320,000 homeless people. The report finds London to have the highest population of homes people, with Newham topping the list both in London and nationally, with 1 in 24 people being homeless. Regions such as Wales and Scotland have seen the biggest increases in homelessness, with the highest in England being recorded in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West.

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Screen time is changing children’s brains

A new study has found that too much screen time for children changes the makeup of brains. Research conducted over a decade has found that too much screen time for children speeds up the maturational process in brain development. The research also found that infants up to the age of 24 months are more at risk if they’re in front of a screen for too long. Parents are recommended that infants should avoid giving children apps, and instead should give them toys to play with as what they learn in an app is not transferable to physical play.

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Puzzles won’t prevent mental decline

A new study by Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the University of Aberdeen has found that puzzles, such as sudoku and cross words, will not prevent mental decline. The study found that while mental abilities increase as a result of completing mental activities, such as puzzles, it does not slow down the speed of mental decline. A report published by the Global Council of Brain Health has recommended that activities such as learning an instrument or gardening should replace intellectual activities.

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1 in 8 children and young people in England are struggling with mental health

New data released by ONE and NatCen Social Research shows that the number of children and young people experiencing mental ill-health continues to rise. The data shows that the prevalence rates of those experiencing mental ill-health increases from one in 10 amongst 5 to 10-year olds, to one in six amongst 16 to 19-year olds.

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The majority of the public support changes to law on cannabis

A new poll by YouGov shows that two in 10 Brits are supportive of legalising cannabis, with an additional four in 10 calling for cannabis to be decriminalised. However, there are fewer numbers that want to legalise or decriminalise other drugs… with the exception of magic mushrooms, which 64% believe should either be decriminalised or legalised.

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