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Poverty can be difficult for Youths and especially to those hailing from low income families. The effect of poverty on American youths has been controversial and this has triggered a great debate across not only the poverty reduction proponents and opponents but also society. Every person; politicians, activists, individuals, youth groups among other bodies reflects on how poverty continues to screw the youths.
A clear understanding of poverty impacts on American based youth is highly imperative for all professionals, welfare organizations and adults called upon to support young generation. According to several journals such as Prevention Researcher; the effects of poverty are immense among youths. Therefore, any poverty reduction proponents must first engage in surveying meaning, causes, theories on poverty and finally the impacts on youths in America.
American youth’s poverty statistical figures are shocking. They reveal that poverty continues to encroach progressively to the youth community. Steven Ungerleider, Ph.D. and the founding editor of The Prevention Researcher in 1994 discussed information about the effects of poverty on youths in America. Programs that create supportive based environments for youth, strategies for preventing various problems affecting youth in America and resources that help youth-serving professionals and families. The main idea behind the objectives of this dissertation is to address the impact of impecuniosity on American youth (Steven & Wheaton, June 06, 2010). To meet this objective, the researcher purpose to critically look into the meaning of poverty and especially to youths, causes, theories and finally link to impacts.
Poverty is a state of privation or lack of usual socially accepted amount of basic needs or money to meet one's daily wants. The U.S government has set the poverty threshold that defines poverty among youths as the lack of necessary goods and services commonly termed back the mainstream based society as a basic. The official youth poverty threshold is embedded on inflation and consumer price index. In 2012, the U.S government revealed that youths from 58.5 percent of all Americans wallowed in cornucopia of poverty, with those aged 12-25 years old adversely affected. The poverty level rates are persistently high in inner city parts and rural areas compared to the suburban based areas. A 2013 UNICEF poverty report ranked U.S as one of those states with highest relative children and youth poverty rate. Americans were ranked second with over 16 percent of the entire population being poor youth (Wenk, & Hardesty, March 01, 2003).
Looking at the study published in The Prevention Researcher from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Vanessa provides a descriptive analysis of American youth living in poverty. She reveals reviews the consequences of penuriousness to the children as well as the adolescents, and the main hypothesis used to expound the result of impecuniosity on youth outcomes. The article states that Poverty among youths aged 17–25 is a growing problem. Some types of youth, such as black and Hispanic and those living with poorly educated single parent or living without parents altogether, are at a risk of being poor than others.
In addition to that, the U.S statistical Bureau released some shocking statistics that “the trend in poverty among adolescents aged 18–34 mirrors around the entire population. In 2000, 14% of youth were poor. By the year 2009, the percentage of the youth living in poverty had increased to above 17%. When youth who are living in near-poor based families with incomes that ranged between 100% and 199% of the aforementioned poverty threshold is included, a total of 38% of all youth lives in low-income based families an increase from 33% in year 2000.
A case study about a newly single mother was used to exploring four of the most common explanations for why people and especially youth are impoverished. The variables were; individualism, social structuralism, the culture of poverty, and fatalism. She notes that youth and families living in poverty must move beyond own myths as well as biases. First and foremost, penuriousness is a highly intricate predicted phenomenon, and that it is likely that most of the explications come into play at once.
Some of the impacts of poverty witnessed on youth from America include; Leads to Poor health status; Poverty affects youth both mentally and physically. The absence of necessities, extracurricular programs and recreational opportunities made to benefit those leads to poor health and stress, therefore, mental infliction. The parents tell them that they do not have the means or ability to finance education, good health among others, therefore, this affects negatively the youth’s social life. Psychologists admit that this situation wreaks greater havoc on the youth than any abuse-based situation.
An article written by Meredith Minkler on behalf of the Park Ridge Center provided a critical thinking on how poverty affects health. Public health specialists reveal that once poverty gets into the skin, the health will worsen due to several factors. Poverty can worsen health status after chronic deprivation and limited access to various health resources. those resources include food — housing, and education, unsafe jobs — or those even involving high demands and some low resources for coping, chronic based psychological stress and exposure to environmental based slums toxins.
Most of the scholars have linked the high-income inequality and especially in United States of America with an adverse effect of poverty on health. In America, it’s just not being poor but being in a poor society where many others are stinging of riches. Raft of studies demonstrated that the very fact of being around individuals who are higher on the socioeconomically based ladder causes someone to experience significant elevated stress, lower level of feelings and control over his or her lives, and mistrust in the society and surroundings. Another factor suggests that people at a lower level of socioeconomic status have correspondingly less opportunity to control the different circumstances and events that affect lives.
In the words of epidemiology this lack of "control over my destiny and life” may be a fundamental concept that can assist to explain why the poor are weak in almost all the disease and disability category, regardless of their particular habits and behaviors. Therefore in conclusion, poverty has a great effect on health.
Secondly, the high poverty level affects the academic achievement or educational level of the American youth. As per the United States of America Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012), Poverty has particularly adversely impacted on the educational outcomes of youth, especially during early childhood. The children attend schools even when they have not eaten. The adversely affected children are those from single mothers are comprised of 30 percent of the impoverished nation. The single mothers cannot even avoid diapers.
This triggers negative child mental, health, and behavioral effects. Some of the areas in which youth education and academic performance have been affected include; District of Columbia, Arizona, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Virginia. In addition to that, those who fail to secure university grades find it difficult to proceed with education. Some of them do not even manage to attend polytechnics hence poverty had an adverse effect on their health. To cut the school dropout of youths aged 12-17 years in high schools, the government decided to ensure that 31 million low-income children and youth received free price meals daily through the National School lunch program started in 2012 federal fiscal based year (Berzin, & De, January 01, 2010). Therefore, poverty has a negative effect on the quality education.
Given that the education system in America is locally funded, quality of materials and teachers reflects the affluence of the community. Low-income communities can’t support quality education compared to the high income communities. To some extent, the children of the poor or in-cognizant people are visually perceived as just mere replicas of their parents fated to live out the same impoverish or in-cognizant life.The result of such a perception will be edifies that will not put forth the indispensable effort to edify and students that are opposed to mundane learning; in both scenarios the conception is that the poorly predicted student is incapable. Females from a poor family are withal liable to becoming pregnant at early ages, and with fewer resources to take care for children. Young women often drop out of school. Due to these reasons the quality of education level between the classes is not equal.
Therefore in summary form, Poverty has an adverse effect on the academic performances of children, especially during the early childhood season. According to American Psychological Association (APA) 2010 report, need trigger chronic stress associated poor children’s concentration and loss of memory which may impact their ability level to learn. The same report stipulated that in 2007, the rate of dropouts of students who live in the low-income families was about ten times higher than the rate of their peers hailing from high-income families (8.8% vs. 0.9%).
Third, penuriousness causes psycho social effects among the American predicated youths. The American Psychological Association revealed that children living in impecuniosity are at higher risk of behavioral and emotional predicated quandaries. Some of the behavioral problems may involve the impulsiveness, difficulty getting along with their peers, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), aggression, and conduct disorder. Moreover, emotional quandaries may cause apprehensiveness, high melancholy, and low self-esteem. Lastly, unsafe neighborhoods environment may expose sundry low-income children to home predicted violence which trigger psycho social difficulties. Violence exposure can also create future violent based behavior in youth which places them at higher risk of injury, mortality and juvenile justice system (Sreenivasan, 2009).
In the integration to that; impecuniosity may additionally trigger youth to engage in perilous demeanor such as reckless smoking or engagement in early sexual activity. Black and Hispanic youths are adversely affected hence tempted from engaging in sexual immoralities or crime to earn daily bread. Some of them are also subjected to early marriages where they end up giving birth to more children then how they can support (Berliner, December 24, 2013).
These children turnout to suffer just like parents and, therefore, proceed to become urchins. 21% of all children who live in the United States live in penuriousness, about 46% of the black children and 40% of the Latino children reside in impecuniosity. All these turn out to be poor youth who can define own life. The US government has been accused of ignoring income disparity which has triggered tremendous generic based poverty across the country. The youth has no employment opportunities amid of having good papers.
Another result of the poverty level on American youth was an increased number of suicides. Most of the youth find it difficult to cope with hard economic life. The eventual result involves them commit suicide or even hang them. The federal government and health agencies identified lack of jobs and poverty as the main cause of the problem. Given that insurance covers are not accessible to low income youth, Medicaid practitioners ignore the low income youth patients (Arrighi& Maume, 2007).
The eventual result of this involves low income youth spent nights in emergency rooms instead of nursing beds. This means that the state and community must play an active role in saving these youth from poverty, The federal government should create youth fund, implement substantial drug and abuse prevention based programs that call for the reduction of drug abuse. Moreover, the aged should be provided with business related fund so as to start own business. Moreover, the federal government can achieve some tax based programs so as to control the excessive, poor and rich differences within the country. The youth pleads with government for more job opportunities and reduction in license costs so as to enhance low income people prosperity.
More connection between the schools and federal government in the provision of school based health programs. The program may identify in advance those children suffering from mental illness for early treatment. The eventual result will be reduced suicide cases and, therefore, healthy youth who can work for the country develops. Whenever, the youths are ignored, some of the government based programs fail such as sports. This call for the state to recognize sports and they can create some job opportunities for the impoverished youth. It can also reduce the number of crimes and alcoholism in the country and especially among youths.
As poverty level increases in America from 46.2 in 2012 to 50 million, where the parents are totally financially unstable, and the number of youth indulged in poverty increased to 21.9 percent. This means that they are in the great depression of not even earning or saving for own needs. High poverty level denies the youth from engaging in life based epic situations such as saving and becoming independent.
The lack of jobs coupled by extreme home poverty lead to most of them reach adult age but continue to eat, cook and bathe under the parents care. This situation means that they cannot even safe for future life. The living standard lived to not match their standard. Given that it can chronologically move from the parents to children, the children tend to inherit poverty rather than wealth. The vulnerable youth from low income families is at danger of being further screwed by poverty till the end. A large number of them have not attended school or are school dropout.
They have little or no knowledge about financial matters or business. America needs to take necessary precautions so as to reduce poverty and homelessness especially for the future generation found from the current youth. A good example of this happened in Oregon province where everyone out of four of the youth wallowed in extreme poverty. In 2007, 2.9% of Oregonians lived below the poverty line.
However, on failure of the youth to save and engage on instrumental country building activities, the poverty rate reached 17.5% in 2011.This means an increase of 190,000 Oregonians fell below the poverty line. A competition for high school scholarships will become increasingly high and the number of students joining various colleges will decline a substantial number. The youth grows to become adults and, therefore, we can accede on the principle of an incremented penuriousness level.
Poverty has also been linked to youth being unable to meet their basic needs. Like food shelter and clothing. Most of them are in streets or even dependent on the parents for the basic needs. The parents cannot sustain them and, therefore, a lot of quarrel and fight dominates the families. The youth end up being very arrogant and, therefore, elope from the family to streets. In the street, they cannot be provided with all necessities. Some of them have tattered clothes and do not take a bath, therefore, they live miserable life (Bugental et al, December 01, 2010)..
Recently, the United States street children statistics and released by the United States Census Bureau were alarming. They revealed a three hundred percent increase in the number since 2002.This was a clear indication of most youth engages in marriage or promiscuity before giving birth to unwanted children. The government had to come up with incipient policies on how to reduce the number of street children by family orchestrating measures among the youth levels. However, this does not solve the eminent poverty problem and, therefore, income generating projects should be introduced. Essentially, the government should also ensure more school and no dropout in schools (Valadez, November 01, 2010).
A 2013 FBI (Federal Bureau Investigation) report revealed that violent crimes such as murders and robberies increased by over 3.7 percent since 2010.Most of these malefactions are committed by puerile boys and girls aged from 18-25 years(Zuberi, January 01, 2011). The crimes are rampant in over 18 cities and suburban regions, The Study found out that many youths have limited parental oversight and are too easily influenced by gang based membership hence glamorized violence in popular culture. Moreover, that an increasing number of offenders appear to be young and their crimes highly violent and, therefore, laws in some states provide very few, if any, tough penalties on juvenile offenders.
The nationwide crime rates spike triggered the justice department to pledge for an additional 50 million dollars for more juvenile cases. This reflects how the poverty cases have led the youths to engage in crime matters. Most of them have lost lives on the process through bullets. Moreover, others have been stoned to death by angry mob, therefore, the state and the entire society must cooperate to see how they can create jobs or provide them with the loans for local businesses. Increasing the number of courts and jails is not a solution to the problem.
In summary form, the above mentioned effects of poverty on youth in America should be solved through various ways. First, the youth must be supported financially to start companies. Secondly, they must be provided with necessary education for business. Moreover, the high income disparity has discouraged most of the poor individuals, therefore, the state must devise some mechanisms such as taxation to control the difference. In addition to that, the youth should be provided with insurance covers for better health services. The hospitals must understand that youth represent the future wealth of the nation and, therefore, they deserve a good health.
Wenk, D. A., & Hardesty, C. (March 01, 2003). The Effects of Rural-to-Urban Migration on the Poverty Status of Youth in the 1990s¹. Rural Sociology, 58, 1, 76-92.
Berliner, D. C. (December 24, 2013). Effects of inequality and poverty vs. teachers and schooling on America's youth. Teachers College Record, 115, 12.)
Arrighi, B. A., & Maume, D. J. (2007). Child poverty in America today. Westport, Conn: Praeger.
Valadez, L. (November 01, 2010). Medium-term effects of household poverty on child well-being: A study in a subsample of pre-school children in rural Mexico. Journal of International Development, 22, 8, 1146-1161
Berzin, S. C., & De, M. A. (January 01, 2010). Understanding the Impact of Poverty on Critical Events in Emerging Adulthood. Youth & Society, 42, 2, 278-300.
Eduardo, M. (September 06, 2011). How Do Social Networks Matter in Reducing the Effects of Poverty?. International Journal of Sociology, 41, 2, 10-27.
Steven Ungerleider, & Wheaton, L. (June 06, 2010). Estimating the potential effects of poverty reduction policies. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 29, 2, 387-400.
Bugental, D. B., Schwartz, A., & Lynch, C. (December 01, 2010). Effects of an Early Family Intervention on Children's Memory: The Mediating Effects of Cortisol Levels. Mind, Brain, and Education, 4, 4, 159-170.
Zuberi, D. (January 01, 2011). Contracting Out Hospital Support Jobs: The Effects of Poverty Wages, Excessive Workload, and Job Insecurity on Work and Family Life. American Behavioral Scientist, 55, 7, 920-940.
Sreenivasan, J. (2009). Poverty and the government in America: A historical encyclopedia. Santa Barbara,
Theoria is an engaged, multidisciplinary and peer-reviewed journal of social and political theory. Its purpose is to address, through scholarly debate, the many challenges posed to intellectual life by the major social, political and economic forces that shape the contemporary world. Thus it is principally concerned with questions such as how modern systems of power, processes of globalization and capitalist economic organization bear on matters such as justice, democracy and truth. How might such systems best be explained? In what do justice and freedom consist? How might these ends best be realized under the conditions both of advanced modernity and of uneven modernization in the 'developing' world? In what, precisely, do the problems of social and political identity consist, and how might sense best be made of phenomena such as resurgent ethnic nationalisms? And what, in addressing these concerns, is the scope of philosophy, art, literature, history, social and political theory and economics? These, among many others, are the kinds of questions by which Theoria is driven.
Coverage: 1947-2014 (No. 1 - Vol. 61, No. 141)
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