The Effects of Poverty Related Stress on Children

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Running Head: Poverty Related Stress on Children

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Poverty-Related Family Stress and the Psychological Effects for Children and Adolescents Kelli Watson HDFS 360- Family Development The Ohio State University May 27, 2011

Poverty Related Stress on Children
Abstract What is child poverty and how does it affect the overall outcome of children? The US Census Bureau defines poverty by determining if a family's total income is less than the family's threshold. If so, then that family and every individual in it would be considered in poverty. In 2009, 15.5 million children in the U.S. under the age of 18, or more than one in five children,

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were living in poverty. Over five million of these children were under the age of five. This is an almost 10 percent increase over 2008. The data from 2009 revealed the largest number of people in poverty on record (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Given such high rates, child poverty warrants much attention. Poverty can cause family conflict, which is exacerbated by poverty related stress and is detrimental to child and adolescent mental health (Santiago 2009). As well, poverty can impair children’s overall emotional, intellectual and physical development. According to Dearing (2008), developmental dysfunction and delay are most likely to occur and are most severe when youth live in extremely poor conditions for relatively long periods. The major challenge to eradicate poverty, which would decrease family stress, is overcoming the various factors that contribute to family poverty.

Poverty Related Stress on Children
Poverty-Related Family Stress and the Psychological Effects for Children and Adolescents

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There are many diverse and complex factors that may contribute to family poverty, such as unemployment/underemployment, lack of education and family structure, to name a few. Each one of the mentioned factors can bring about economic pressure, which can increase emotional distress and therefore cause family...
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