Childhood poverty is related to the children living in poverty. Child poverty imposes the restriction on the children involvement related to the activities and services. There are many children who grow up in the low-income households and it is very difficult for them to fulfill their basic needs and wants. Poverty arises when the household income is less than 60 percent of the average income. The children that are not able to meet the standard of wealth in the nation are considered as a poor child.
Poverty has a direct impact on the living standard of an individual. There are limited resources available for the people to fulfill their basic needs and wants. No additional options are provided to the children for living their lives in an effective manner. In the U.S.A, it is seen that 1 in every 7 children come from a poverty or low-income background. Even though the U.S. is considered a rich nation, it still has a high rate of poor families. The childhood poverty rate is high as compared to the other developed countries. In the United States, there are approximately 21 percent of the children who have an income below the federal poverty.
According to (Gordon, 2015), Childhood poverty is neither an “Act of God” Nor it is considered as “Act of nature” and nor it is evitable. It is one of the political choices.
According to (UNICEF, 2007), Children who are living in poverty are considered as those who faces deprivation of the emotional and material resources to stay alive and also do not enjoy their own rights to participate as equal members of the society.
So, by evaluating the definitions it is seen that childhood poverty is related to the individuals who are not able to access the basic necessities that are essential to survive. They do not enjoy the same rights given to other people, as poor people are neglected by the society.
Impacts and Causes of Childhood Poverty
Poverty is caused by not having enough money to spend and also related to the insufficient resources available to the children. There are many causes that are related to the childhood poverty. The causes are:
The major cause of the child poverty is related to the issue that arises in the family. The children are affected by the issues of the family like lack of funds, family stress, and peer pressure. A child who belongs in the low-income family background suffers from stress from the family. For families, the humiliating situation takes place when they are not in a position to give fees for the school activities. It also gives direct impact on the self-esteem (Yurdakul & Atik, 2016). Due to the family stress or pressure many people get indulged in various wrong activities like divorcing, and gambling that can lead to poverty. The direct impact is on the upbringing of the children. If the family is not able to spend on the children, then it can give negative impact on the personality and also on the behavior. Parents who are struggling to raise a child and belong to a low-income family background suffer from extensive stress (Anderson, Leventhal & Dupéré, 2014).
Childhood poverty arises from the background of the family. If the family belongs to a low-income group, then the direct impact will be given on the upbringing of the child. If the family has a strong background, then it will give a positive impact on the upbringing of the children. The family issue of poverty is due to the gambling problems, alcohol use and also due to stress. The poverty affects the child’s personality development because of the family stress process in which the poverty is considered as one of the factors. There are various factors like family poverty that consist of unemployment (Hagenaars, 2014). The person with the insufficient income gives enhancement to the difficulties in meeting the basic needs and also struggles to pay for the food. When the family does not have the sufficient money then the direct impact is given on the life of the children (Halpern & Murphy, 2013).
The prices are so high for the medical treatment that gives direct impact on the society and on the children. The people who are belonging to the low-income group face a huge problem of income and it directly impacts the health of the individuals. People are not able to eat healthy food just because of their low income. When people are not able to eat healthy food that causes many diseases. In the U.S.A people are facing a financial burden due to the cost of medical care. The medicines or the treatment of disease is so costly that it gives negative impact on the income structure of the people. When the people pay high medical bills half of the income is spent on purchasing the medicines, so it leads to poverty. Having children also made many families vulnerable to the medical bills that are not within their reach (Thrasher,Zabel, Wynne & Baltes, 2015).
There are many diseases that are costly to be operated in an effective manner. It is not possible for low-income group people to invest in the high medicines. When the children are affected by the diseases, then it can give negatively affect the income of the people. To cure the diseases it is essential that proper treatment should be taken. So, in this case, there are many families that face a severe issue to cure the diseases (Schickedanz, Dreyer & Halfon, 2015).
The poor people have many kinds of problems related to health like infant mortality, mental illness and also they are unable to receive proper medical care. Also, the children who belong from poor background have insufficient nutrition and also suffer from health and behavioral problems (Townsend, 2014).
Loan payments are one of the causes of poverty. The person who belongs from the low-income group takes loans on every item. When people receive their income, they have to give it as a loan to other people. The income is spent on the loans and it is difficult for the parents to invest in the education of the children. It also affects the development of the children. The children face problem in every activity they are involved in. By paying the amount of all the loans, the families are unable to fulfill the needs and wants of the children. The negative impact is seen on the children and they suffer from childhood poverty. Sometimes the people who do not come in the category of poor face the problem of poverty. By taking loans people fulfill their demands and needs but at the time of repayment they don’t have the money. So, many people in this case come in the category of poverty (Pitt-Catsouphes, Kossek & Sweet, 2015).
Religion has a surprisingly high relation to poverty. It is evaluated that the more poverty a nation has, the higher religiosity in the nation. It is seen that the richer countries are less religious than the poorer ones. Religions have a great impact on the societies who are poorer and also the support is given by the majority of the people. Poverty gives direct impact on the majority of people and also it affects the people in every corner of the world. Religion gives direct impact on the human thoughts. There are many ministers, priest who earn solid middle and upper middle-class incomes on the name of religion. They collect money from the public on the basis of religion or by taking the name of God. Due to the high faith in God, a poor person also gives money. It gives focus on the spiritual poverty instead of taking into consideration material concerns (Suich, Howe & Mace, 2015).
Drugs and the alcohol consumption have affected about 20 percent of the population who are homeless. It has become one of the addictions that have ruined the lives of individuals. There are many people who dump their money in their habit of addiction that they have spent a huge amount on the consumption of drugs. It has given impact on the lives of the teenagers in those families (Bristo, Raas & Nagy, 2013). Many youngsters are involved in consuming the high amount of drug on a daily basis, they used them because their parents do. Also, the consumption of the alcohol on a daily basis and cost of the alcohol has given a major impact on the poverty areas. The people who are living in the slum areas enhance their satisfaction level by consuming alcohol. It has spoiled the life of many youngsters (Wright, Kooreman, Greene,Chambers, Banerjee & Wilson, 2014).
The money is spent on the alcohol and it has a negative impact on the economic conditions. It consists of low wages and lost employment opportunities. By considering these points it is evaluated that how drug and alcohol abuse can impact the families and their users in poverty or in homeless conditions. The low-income people find satisfaction by using drugs. They think that it reduces stress and pressure and enhance relief in their lives. In the large cities, there are many low-income residents who are involved in the drug abuse. Drugs can easily be availed from the streets and young people who are living in poverty are surrounded by the drug dealers. The people who are addicted to drugs spent their income on consuming it (Luby, Belden, Botteron, Marrus, Harms,Babb & Barch, 2013).
It is evaluated that people who are engaged in drug abuse can lose their jobs quickly and also it is difficult for them to stay in one job for a long time. The weak economies have enhanced the unemployment rate and also there are various companies that forced people to leave the jobs. The people get slipped easily into poverty when they consume more drugs. The drugs they use require a huge amount of money and people get so much addicted that they consume all the money in purchasing the drugs. In the U.S.A it is seen that 48 million people are living in poverty and 3.7 million people who are in poverty require the treatment for drug addiction (Sripada, Swain, Evans,Welsh,& Liberzon,2014).
Poor economy is one of the main aspects related to childhood poverty. In the U.S.A it is seen that many companies decided to establish their factories overseas in order to save money by giving employment to the workers who are willing to conduct activities at low wages. If the companies do move overseas then it will give negative impact and can also shut the doors of the business (Landes, 2015). The unemployed people face difficulty to find the jobs as the competition level is high. Unemployment not only gives direct impact on the individual but also affect their families. Mainly the children are affected by this factor. The change that takes place due to unemployment results into a state of poverty and also some people are even homeless.
Types of Childhood Poverty
There are four types of poverty that are discussed below.
In absolute poverty, it is related to the lack of the basic necessity that is essential for an individual to survive. It is related with food, water, health and housing. In this type of poverty people struggle to survive and experience a lot of child deaths from the diseases like Malaria and Cholera. In the developed countries these types of diseases are not common. People are not able to achieve the basic requirements and struggle a lot to satisfy the needs and wants. For example: Shelter is considered as a basic necessity of an individual to survive. So, in the U.S.A there were approximately 643,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people (Fritzell, Rehnberg, Hertzman & Blomgren, 2015).
The relative poverty is related to the other members and families in the society. For instance, if the family does not afford vacations or purchase gifts for the children at Christmas or on special occasions, then the family is considered poor. But the families that come into this category have proper access to the assistance given by the government like food, water, and free housing. The families who fall into this category are considered poor because there are many other families who avail high superior services and facilities (Palomera, 2014). The basic necessity can be satisfied by the people who belong in this category. They can easily satisfy the needs and wants that are considered as an essential aspect to survive. In the U.S.A relative poverty rate is higher if the comparison is made between the wealthy nations.
The families or the people who fall into this category of situational poverty can be poor just because of some adversities like flood, and earthquakes. The people or the families assist themselves to solve the situation quickly. If the assistance is given then it can be resolved immediately. It is considered as an unfortunate event and occurs one time. The people can easily fulfill their basic needs and wants to survive in a proper manner (Kreppner & Lerner, 2013).
Generational Poverty or Chronic Poverty
The generational poverty is considered as the complicated type of poverty. This takes place when the poverty is given to individuals and families from the generations before them. From this type of poverty, it is difficult to escape as the individual are trapped in the causes and also they do not have any access to the tools that assist them to face it in an effective manner. The families or the individuals who belong in this poverty can easily attain the basic requirements and can survive for a long time (Chakravarty & Lugo, 2014).
Implications of childhood poverty for society
Poverty is considered as a serious social tension that threatens and divides a nation or the society just due to the various issues. The issues are related to the inequality in the particular income structure. This only takes place when the wealth in the country is not distributed in an effective manner among the citizens. The children who are living in poverty stay in the surroundings that have an adverse effect on the physical and mental health of the society (Alvarez & Barney, 2014). There are many poor people who are forced to join terrorism so that their families can live happily. Poverty gives enhancement to terrorism and also it creates difficulty for the people who belong from the low-income group to stay in a proper manner. For the society, poverty is considered as a dangerous factor that destabilizes an entire country. The cycle of poverty creates a serious problem for the society as children are unable to satisfy their needs and wants (Belfield, Cribb, Hood & Joyce, 2014). There are many effects of poverty on the society and it is discussed below:
- Corruption: Poverty enhances corruption and also the individual tries to make money by considering all the illegal means to be rich. There are many official jobs that enhanced the corruption rate (Rose-Ackerman, 2013).
- Criminal activities: Poverty also affects the societies that are having high violence and criminal activities. Due to poverty, theft, robbery and murders take place in the society.
- Lack of happiness: Wealth is the important aspect that is related to the happiness of the society. The person who belongs to the low-income group or who suffers from poverty will be less happy if the comparison is made with others.
- Lack of health facilities: Heath has a connection with the wealth. If a person takes a healthy food, water and also stays in the neat place then they remain healthy. Poverty gives negative impact on the health of the people and also they are unable to use the best technology to cure the diseases (Evans & Cassells, 2014).
Remedies related to childhood poverty
Poverty cannot be removed completely as it is caused by the individuals. There are many programs related to poverty that are designed to break the cycle of poverty in many communities and household sectors in the world. The results attained are positive but there is still more to be done. The effective remedies that can be used to reduce childhood poverty are:
- Education: Proper education should be given to the poor people so that they can be employed and earn their living in a proper manner. Quality education enhances the opportunities for the people in the surroundings. It assists children to get knowledge, information and also the skills to enhance their need to realize their potential and capability to conduct the activities. The essential poverty alleviation programs are related to building schools, training teachers and also giving education material that enhances the knowledge of the children (Spodek & Saracho, 2014).
- Health, food, and water: There are various programs that give focus on offering food to kids at school and also offer health services. This encourages parents to send the children to school. If the food is given to the children and they are healthy, then they can easily learn and respond to the requirements of the programs (winters, McCulloch & McKay, 2015).
- Provision of Skills and training: By providing training the children can easily learn new things and can enhance their knowledge. The enhancement of the skills is done so that the economic activities can be conducted. It also assists the children to earn money so that they can take care of their family and can make a living (Rakodi, 2014).
- Income redistribution: It is essential that the government should enhance the development programs like roads, bridges and also economic facilities to rural areas so that the goods and services can be easily available for the children. If the goods and services are available by the children, then they can enhance the knowledge and can earn their living. By working the poverty can be minimized (Hair, Hanson,Wolfe & Pollak, 2015).
By evaluating the report, it is concluded that poverty has a negative impact on the society and also on the children. In the first part of the report, the causes that are related to poverty are discussed. The causes that are elaborated are medical bills, family issues, religion, mortgage payments and drugs. If poverty is not considered in a proper manner, then it can create a serious problem in the children lives. It is essential that poverty should be minimized and also it takes into consideration childhood poverty in the U.S.A.
In the next phase of the report the implications of childhood poverty for society are considered. In that corruption, lack of happiness, criminal activities, and many other factors are discussed. In the last phase of the report, the focus is given on the remedies that should be taken into consideration so that the childhood poverty can be resolved in an effective way. It is imperative to consider the essential points like education, training, health and water and redistribution of the income. These are the important points that are considered as remedies to the childhood poverty. It is essential that the childhood poverty can be reduced so that the next generation can face fewer problems.
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