at the effect of income on children’s lives, specifically poverty (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997).
The researchers found that poor children, compared to non-poor children, experienced
diminished physical health. The key factors reported were child health, low birth weight and
infant mortality, growth stunting, and lead poisoning. Parents reported to the researchers that
only two-thirds of the poor children were in excellent health and were twice as likely to be in fair
or poor health as the non-poor children. Poverty statuses had a statistically significant effect on
low birth weight and the neonatal mortality rate for whites but not blacks. For white women with
family income below the federal poverty level during the year of birth, they were 80% more
likely to have a low birth weight baby compared to those with family incomes above the poverty
level. Even though overt starvation is infrequent among poor children, nutritional deficits exist
and are associated with poverty. Stunting of growth and low height for weight is most common
among poor children. After controlling for family characteristics, poor children were twice as
likely to show differentials in height. The harmful effects of lead have been documented and
vary with the length of exposure, the amount of lead in the environment and the developmental
Effect of poverty 9
stage of the child. Lead exposure is linked to stunted growth, hearing loss, toxic effects on the
kidneys and other effects. Poor children were three times as likely to be exposed to lead in their
environments (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997).
Health is essential for success, and those living in poverty have some health i...
... middle of paper ...
...ol and becoming a productive and contributing member of society is
tied to a child’s early experiences-prenatal up to and beyond age five. In New Mexico, we know
that children do not always get enough to eat, do not get that early childhood education
experience that will put them on the path to success while many are held back by the
circumstances of poverty. New Mexico needs a two-pronged approach when addressing this
problem, focusing not only on the children but also strengthening their families.
Number and Percentage of People in New Mexico in Poverty in the Past 12 Months
Location Type Data Type 2004 2009 2014
Number 358,000 353,594 436,153
Percent 19.3% 18% 21.3%
State Ranking in
terms of Poverty
48th 49th 51st
Percent 27.7% 25.3% 29.1%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Surveys
Effect of poverty 1
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