Coming of Age

Lasting Influences

  • Lucija Parenta Nottingham Trent University


As children grow their personalities and values are very heavily influenced by what surrounds them. Their life at home and the people they are surrounded with can have a significant impact on who they are and who they become. The focus of this text will be some of the socioeconomic factors that have influence on one’s education, academic success and mental health while growing up. The factors I will be looking at are the parents’ level of education, income and assets, health and home atmosphere and neighbourhood they are situated in.  As a reference I will be using and comparing Children, Youth, Families and Socioeconomic Status[1], an article posted by the American psychology association and The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney, a novel written by Okechukwu Nzelu.

The article states that children coming from poor backgrounds are usually situated in impoverished neighbourhoods which has direct influence on their behavioural development. Those children are more likely to be faced with adversity than their peers which can later on influence their academic success. They are more likely to start kindergarten with underdeveloped linguistic skills, leading to falling behind their peers coming from wealthier families. On the other hand, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney shows us that it does not and it is not always like that, as long as there is enough motivation breaking out of ‘’social norms’’ is possible.

Furthermore, in the article I will be reflecting on the different ways both texts approach the factors previously mentioned, the way they oppose each other or relate to each other.


[1] American Psychology Association, ‘Children, Youth, Families and Socioeconomic Status’

<> [ accessed 28 November 2019].


How to Cite
PARENTA, Lucija. Coming of Age. Literary Cultures, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, jan. 2020. ISSN 2516-3310. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 24 sep. 2023.