Childhood Poverty In Children

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Poverty in Children About 15 million children in the United States live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold; 43% are children under the age of six and 37% are children over the age of six (“Child Poverty”). Child poverty refers to the phenomenon of children living below the federal poverty threshold. The poverty threshold is set by the Census Bureau and depends on the family size and composition of a household. For example, a family of four earning less than $22,050 per year in 2010 is considered to live below the poverty threshold (What are Poverty Thresholds). Poverty can negatively affect a child’s physical, emotional, social and educational development in their earliest years. Childhood poverty can negatively…show more content…
School readiness is a critical factor to later achievement because the differences on school entry can have long term effects. “School readiness has been shown to be predictive of virtually every educational benchmark (e.g. achievement test scores, grade retention, special educational placement, dropout, etc)” (Engle & Black). Children who start school significantly behind their peers are less likely to close the readiness gap. Poor children often come to school with a smaller understanding of words making it harder for them to quickly learn new words and discriminate among them. Another effect poverty can have on the education of a child is an unfinished academic degree. Children who watch their parents not finish school are more likely to not finish themselves. “Low-income children are at increased risk of leaving school without graduating,” (Engle & Black). Without an education, it is less likely a child will get a job earning enough to support themselves, therefore, continuing the problem of poverty. Poverty can also affect the behavioral characteristics a child needs to behave well in class. Children who live long term in poorer communities are more likely to have higher behavioral problem that result in children getting in trouble more often. A study conducted by National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) states that poverty is a significant predictor…show more content…
Economic disadvantage can rip away a child’s chance of success from a very young age through deficiencies in physical, mental, and psychological health. Children born to mothers living below the federal poverty line are 80% more likely to be born underweight, and are therefore disadvantaged from the very beginning. These physical shortcomings translate into a child’s cognitive ability, leading to poverty ridden children struggling throughout their academic careers. The struggle many of these children experience deter them from pursuing higher levels of education, and in turn, these young adults struggle to find jobs that provide an adequate income that supports their family, continuing the vicious cycle of poverty. Without some form of outside assistance, many of these children will never experience the American
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