Poverty And Its Effects On Child Development Essay

Poverty And Its Effects On Child Development Essay

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Poverty is defined as the condition of not having enough money to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. The absolute poverty line is calculated as the minimum income needed to meet dietary recommendations with a small allowance for non-food goods (Engle & Black, 2008). According to the US Census Bureau, the 2015 poverty level for one person under 65 years of age was $12,331. For a family of three it was $19,076, and for a family of four it was $24,036. In 2015, the official poverty rate was 13.5%, concluding that 43.1 million Americans were living in poverty (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016). Poverty causes many chronic stressors in a child’s life. These stressors lead to deficits in mental and physical health such as cognitive lags, poor language acquisition, and malnourishment, thus adversely impacting child development.
Generally, families that live in poverty reside in extremely poor neighborhoods. These neighborhoods do not have access to many resources that foster child development such as playgrounds, child care, health care facilities, parks, and after-school programs (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997). These resources stimulate cognitive development, so it is easy to see how children from high socioeconomic neighborhoods have an inherit advantage over children in low socioeconomic neighborhoods.
These neighborhoods are also characterized by social disorganization including higher crime and unemployment (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997). Children living in these low-SES communities are at an increased risk for risky behaviors such as smoking, drug use, and early sexual activity, thus contributing to the cycle of poverty on future generations (“Effects of Poverty,” 2013).
Due to higher violence, structural hazards, and fewer pl...


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...ificantly behind their peers and are unable to ever close the readiness gap. Instead, the gap actually widens as they move through school (Engle & Black, 2008). They are rarely able to get ahead. They usually do not possess the school readiness skills needed to be able to learn in school. These skills include “physical health, motor skills, self-care, emotional and behavioral self-regulation, social skills, communication skills, pre-academic skills, attention, and curiosity and motivation to learn” (Engle & Black, 2008).
Poverty significantly impacts child development. It puts low-SES children at an inherit disadvantage when compared with their higher-SES peers. The chronic stressors associated with poverty can lead to impairments in mental and physical health, including cognitive, social, and behavioral development. Often, these deficits last throughout adulthood.

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Poverty And Its Effects On Child Development Essay

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