Soc 120 Week 9 Final Paper

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Poverty and Children in the United States

Yvonne White
SOC 120
07/23/2010
Cary Peterson

The United States is known as the wealthiest nation in the world. When poverty is mentioned most people think of this occurring in developing countries. Everyone has come across someone in the United States suffering from hunger, homelessness and other forms of poverty, but few people may have realized it. [pic]Poverty in the United States is quite different from the images often[pic] seen on television [pic]in[pic] other [pic]developing[pic] countries (Cole, 2005). Instead of homelessness and starvation, [pic]poverty [pic]is a malnourished child whose parents do not have the earning to provide healthy food for their families. [pic]Another face of[pic] poverty [pic]is a hard working single parent that is working full time and still struggles to provide the family with food, [pic] [pic][pic]shelter, clothing or even a car. Although the United States is the wealthiest nation, poverty is still an issue (Freeman, 2005).[pic][pic]In the United States childhood poverty is said to be a very alarming problem. It affects [pic]every person in this country, regardless of economic status, age, race, or gender. In 2001, 11.7 million children, or 16.3% of children in the United States were poor[pic] (Freeman, 2005). [pic]Children represent a disproportionate percentage of the poor population. They make up 35.7 percent of the poor, but only account for 25.6 percent of the general population (U.S. Census Bureau,[pic] 2006). America must make it a priority to see that the adequate attention is being given to the problem of all the children that are living in poverty. These children are our future and need us to provide the resources, encouragement and resources they need to get out of poverty.[pic] [pic] Society categorizes an individual into the poverty group when there is not enough income to meet the basic need of food, clothing and shelter. Food, clothing and shelter are not the only basic needs a child needs to survive. Most children have parents who work, but low wages and unstable jobs still leave families struggling. Poverty can interfere with a child’s learning it can also [pic]contribute to emotional and social problems. Poverty may[pic] have also been attributed to[pic] the lack of healthcare and also may contribute to mental health problems. Children who are poor may be at risk because of the environment they live in. About half of families that are poor live in low-income neighborhoods (Frank 2006). Many of America’s children are struggling to survive in communities in the United States. Lack of public resources, economic investment and political power sometimes service to isolate some families from mainstream society. When families [pic]have been isolated[pic] it can cause violence and crime in neighborhoods that have low-income residents[pic]. For those children that live in this environment may not have a safe place to go that can help them to not get into trouble like[pic] some of the more fortunate children. Children who live in these neighborhoods are less likely to participate in sports and after school activities and are most likely to end up on the wrong side of the law. Many children tend to shy away from others because they feel embarrassed about themselves and their situation. The impact of poverty makes it almost impossible for children to grow up in a safe environment. The neighborhoods these children live in are surrounded with violence, and crime. These children are caught in the middle. Some may tend to turn to a life of crime, in hopes of getting a chance to better their living situation (Summers, 2005). Families who live in poverty do not have many choices as to what neighborhoods to live in or where their children will go to school. Their resources are limited and they basically take what is given to them. Some families do not have a choice about healthcare, which means some children may not get the proper...
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