February 16, 2013
The Effects of Growing Up In Urban High-Poverty Areas on Youth
With the rising poverty levels in today’s society, the amount of youth that has been affected by poverty has increased substantially, rising more than fifty percent in the last twenty years. Studies show that there are at least nine million kids living in high-poverty areas of the United States. Children raised in poverty have no choice, but are forced to view the American dream in a very grim manner. For children and young kids growing up in high poverty areas drugs, violence, and hunger are usually viewed on an everyday basis and become their only reality. Numerous aspects of poverty all come together to lead to a change in prospect and a difference in the futures of many youth born into a cycle with no choice. There are many negative effects of growing up in a high poverty area.
Violence is a reality for youth that grow up in inner-city poverty. New studies have shown that children growing up in these areas are actually experiencing psychological changes due to violence and other effects of poverty due to the over stimulation of their frontal lobe. The frontal lobe controls instincts, reactions to emotional stimulus, and is the primary instrument in child processing. As the brain is overstimulated by excess violence there is proof that it begins to adapt and change. This change causes children in these areas to become more violent and see violent behavior as something that is common to them. Studies show that they begin to become Halbritter 2
indifferent and numb to witnessing violent acts overtime. In children, this biological adaptation to violence is the balance that enables a child to survive and is a big cause for concern. A mindset prone to violence extends poverty and delays rational mature thought processes. This helps us to understand why these youth are less likely to succeed in school, jobs, or other important aspects of growing up, working themselves out of...
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