Poverty is the lack of basics needs such as health care, clean water, education, nutrition shelter and clothing as a result of inability to afford them. It is also referred to as destitution or absolute poverty. Relative poverty is situation whereby resources are inadequate or less income compared to others within a society or country as compared to worldwide averages. Approximately 1.7 billion people in the world live in poverty. Poverty had become a norm before the industrial revolution.
Long term effects of poverty on children
Research has indicated that poverty has greater effects on a child cognitive development and that when exposed to poverty for a long term, may result in more significant but quite reversible damages. Children brought up below the poverty line are 1.3 times more likely to have learning disabilities or delayed development as compared to other children who are from non-poor families. Under nutrition alongside other environmental factors related to poverty can retard physical growth permanently, cognitive functioning and brain development. Typically intake of low nutrition results to low motivation, emotional expression, and attentiveness, which negatively affects critical development process including child-parent attachment and communication, learning and playing.
According to National Centre for Health statistics, children brought up in poor environment develop poor health and are much likely to die as compared to those children from non-poor families or backgrounds. Such children are likely to die of infectious diseases unlike their counterparts from well-off families. Children from poor grounds are at an increased risk for low birth -weights, anemia, asthma, stunted growth which results to poisoning amid many healthcare complications as compared to those from non-poor families.
School Achievement Outcome
School unreadiness is one of the most critical effects of child poverty in the classroom according to researchers. This unreadiness has a permanent or lasting effect that goes way beyond kindergarten. In fact larger number of children from low income societies join kindergarten class already far behind their peers and by the time they are in the fourth grade, more than 50% of the children from poor grounds will not meet the reading proficiency standards. High numbers of students from poor families drop out of school six times more as compared to those from well-off families.
Early childhood longitudinal study has revealed that children experience smaller gains between kindergarten an third grade in areas of reading when exposed to child risk factors such as poverty. Poor children in high school are taught by out-of field teachers as compared to non-poor students, which means that poor children’s may not always share class with non poor students and cannot be taught by teachers with the same expertise in math’s, English and science. Performance in school is affected by nutritional level of children. According to the Centre on Hunger Poverty; poor students perform significantly below level required of them as compared to non-poor students.
Emotional and Behavioral outcome
Depression in parents has been found to be more common among low income parents. Research by National Centre for Children in Poverty has indicated that children below age six whose parents demonstrate substance abuse, depression, and domestic difficulties, are exposed to greater risk of use of food banks, homelessness, inadequate medical care unsafe or unreliable child care. Research indicates that children from poor families experience emotional and behavioral problems more often as compared to those from non-poor families. For instance a study carried out on the low birth weight five-year-old shown that children in persistently poor grounds had more externalizing and internalizing behavioral problems as compared those from well off backgrounds. Poor children brought up by depressed mothers may also suffer from trust issues, aggression, problems forging relationships’ with other children and vulnerability of future substance abuse.
Girls from poor grounds are more vulnerable to pregnancy as compared to those from non-poor families. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Humans Development, teen mothers drop out of high school more often as compared to those from non poor families Children from teenage mothers are likely to perform poorly in high school and likely to repeat grade, performing poorly on standardized tests as compared to their counterpart from rich families. Such children are most unlikely to complete their education.
Causes of poverty
Poverty has many causes many of them being basic. They include; overpopulation, a situation of having a large number of people while the resources are inadequate and also an inadequate space. The large population cannot be satisfied by the scarce resource and the limited space thus resulting to lack of some basics. This cans also result from population density.
Unequal distribution of resources is another cause of poverty whereby world economy is imbalanced as a result of unfair distribution of resources. The problem of poverty is pervasive and massive in developing countries which in the recent decades have been trying to alleviate poverty by employing technology and industry. However social scientist still argues that developed countries practice a form of colonialism known as neocolonialism which increase poverty in developing countries.
High standard of living and cost of living is another cause of poverty. People in developed countries may have more wealth and resource than those in developing countries, thus their standards of living are generally high causing those who have what should be considered adequate resources in developing nations to be considered poor in developed countries.
Inadequate education and employment also play a greater role in the cause of poverty. Government in developing countries can not afford to foot the cost of availing good learning institutions especially in rural areas Such governments are also unable to create job opportunities to its people. Other causes of poverty include environmental degradatory economy, demographic trade and individual responsibility and welfare dependency.
Consequences of poverty
Poverty influences children development in that experts have long recognized as essential to normal development. For instance economic stress interferes with position, high quality part children interactions. Children living in poor families are socially isolated and painfully aware of the stigma and shame related to poverty. Reports on research carried out indicate that adults criticize and disapprove poor children. Living in poor families increase the chances of living in poor neighborhood which is more exposed to violence and inadequate social support for families.
Social isolation and shame, stressful parents-child relationship and poor neighborhood are examples of potential pathways through which poverty produce negative results. Other consequences of poverty include low quality child care, inability to provide good learning environment at home, and chronic exposion to violence and poor parental mental health.
How the government can reduce poverty
Several initiatives by the government can help alleviate poverty. The government should come up with preparatory urban processes that give advice in decision making to the poor and marginalized population with an aim to aid in eradication of poverty. The government should also partner with communities, community based organizations and non-governmental organizations including advocacy groups to help them in establishment of good learning grounds and also provision of resources.
The government should also initiate programs for the improvement of both the urban and the rural environment.It should come up with systems of supporting small businesses and microfinance’s to help in the improvement of the economy. The government should also collaborate with philanthropic organizations and foundations on social projects and also initiate special programs to help reach vulnerable groups.
The government should also come up with schemes like irrigation projects to help in the provision of food and production of agricultural produce. It should also adopt technology and industrialization to help in the creation of job opportunities. The government should also aim at improving infrastructure in both urban and rural areas.
In conclusion poverty is an epidemic that each and every other government should try and eradicate.Every effort should be employed inthewar against poverty for the well being of the society and the world in general.Learning institutions of higher quality should be put up to provide good learning environment.Job opportunities should be created for the educated individual to help fight poverty.
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