Effects of Poverty on Children: Literature Review

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This literature review of twelve previously published research articles has focused on summarizing some of the effects of poverty on children. The selected articles all focused on the major effect of poverty on children, and were sorted into four sub-categories or themes based upon a specific focus areas of this complex and not yet fully understood issue. These themes included developmental, educational outcomes, health, and parenting effects, and how they were impacted by children living in poverty.

Impact on Development

The developmental theme included reviews of four articles, each with a slightly different focus. In a paper researching the racial/ethnic differences in processes and effects (McLeod and Nonemaker, 2000) using a sample of 4-9 year old children from the 1992 wave of the Children of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth data set, the conclusion was that a significantly stronger effect of the persistence of poverty over time on child problems was noted in Caucasians than for Hispanics, and for Hispanics more so than African American children. In focusing on the interpersonal impacts of poverty on Turkish children (Ozkan, Purutcuoglu, and Hablemitoglu, 2010), the topics of health, cognitive development, socio-emotional development, stress, parenting, literacy /education, housing and communities were discussed, concluding that this is a global issue with poverty in other countries impacting children in Turkey. The researchers also recommended that more research needed to be done to better understand this complex issue and the factors that impact it.

Bronfenbrenner’s classic process-person-context-time model was used to explain the adverse effects of poverty on the socio-emotional development of children (Eam...

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...., Coley, R., & Chase-Lansdale, P. (2004). Child Care and Low-Income Children's Development: Direct and Moderated Effects. Child Development, 296-312. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00670.x. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Wadsworth, M. E., Raviv, T., Reinhard, C., Wolff, B., Santiago, C., & Einhorn, L. (2008). An Indirect Effects Model of the Association Between Poverty and Child Functioning: The Role of Children's Poverty-Related Stress. Journal of Loss & Trauma, 156-185. doi:10.1080/15325020701742185. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Wood, D. (2003). Effect of Child and Family Poverty on Child Health in the United States. Pediatrics, 707-711. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Yoo, J., Slack, K. S., & Holl, J. L. (2010). The Impact of Health-Promoting Behaviors on Low-Income Children's Health: A Risk and Resilience Perspective. Health & Social Work, 133-143. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

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