Poverty and Child Development

2207 words 9 pages
Poverty is defined in many ways. The dictionary definition simply does not suffice to show the human cost of poverty. Poverty is much more than the limited capital resources that this definition suggests. Poverty is defined by the federal government as 16,660 for a family of four in 1998 ("Child Poverty in the United States" 2000). These figures are tremendously flawed; a single individual residing in the United States would not fare well by the standards of most individuals at this income level. Individuals in Laos, Cuba, Ecuador, or many other nations however, would live as kings on this income. Poverty is, therefore a subjective concept far more complicated than a yearly income. The individual most harshly affected by poverty are …show more content…

The United States still trails other industrialized nations in infant mortality. It ranks 22nd, and has failed to reduce the disparities in rates among different racial and ethnic groups (Children's Defense Fund 34). Many of these figures are reflective of infants born to mothers who are scarcely more than children themselves. "Every year, almost a million teens become pregnant, one out of every ten sexually active teens between the ages of 15 and 19. Although seven out of ten teen mothers complete high school, they are less likely to go to college than other young women , and eighty three percent of the teens who give birth are from low income families (Children's Defense Fund 34)." A child reared in hardship and poverty is himself a cause for more poverty. Resentment aimed at an unwanted child cripples any desire to become productive; rather, it motivates bitterness and an attitude of being owed something. These children are often not provided the emotional support required for healthy development due to the fact that Mom works so long and hard to provide the essentials that nothing else is left. Often in poverty stricken areas the number of single parent households is very high. Poverty and violence seem to be inextricably bound. Domestic violence accounts for more law enforcement officers being killed in the line of duty than any other type of call. The most dangerous situation that an officer can encounter is a heated argument perceived to be none of his


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