1 in 5 children live in poverty: A new report examines effect of poverty on children

December 5, 2012

While most children are looking forward to getting gifts during the upcoming holiday season, it is worth noting that one in five children live in poverty. Poverty is a major risk factor for children's development and deep poverty is linked to a range of physical-biological, cognitive-academic, and social-emotional problems. These problems persist into adulthood. Poverty also contributes to a growing health and academic achievement gap, declining college attendance and graduation rates, and an increasing workforce skills gap.

A new Social Policy Report from SRCD on Children, Families and Poverty: Definitions, Trends, Emerging Science and Implications for Policy provides an overview of the research evidence on the development of children who live in poverty. According to the report:

  • Poverty's impact on children's education achievements and health results in lower economic productivity in adulthood and higher health care costs.
  • associated with living in poverty changes children's responses to everyday challenges in their schools and communities.
  • Substandard housing and the physical and social hazards in many poor neighborhoods are detrimental to children's development.
The report also looks at research on U.S. programs and policies related to poverty. According to the report:
  • Besides temporary upturns in the economy, it is a collection of public policies that has helped lower child poverty rates.
  • Programs that work directly to improve young children's development through high-quality early care and education show positive effects, though often only in the short term.
  • Programs that provide cash to families for their economic needs and children's well-being (if they fulfill such requirements as children's school attendance) are showing some positive effects.

Explore further: Poverty can hurt brain development

Related Stories

Poverty can hurt brain development

February 18, 2008

Poverty appears to have dramatic effects on the brain development and function of young children, U.S. researchers said.

How childhood family income affects adulthood

April 24, 2012

A study from the University of Otago’s long-running Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS) throws new light on a current issue; links between family income and other outcomes later in life such as health and ...

Recommended for you

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

Search for Egypt's Nefertiti gains new momentum (Update)

September 29, 2015

The search for ancient Egypt's Queen Nefertiti in an alleged hidden chamber in King Tut's tomb gained new momentum as Egypt's Antiquities Minister said Tuesday he is now more convinced a queen's tomb may lay hidden behind ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Dec 05, 2012
"Poverty also contributes to a growing health and academic achievement gap, declining college attendance and graduation rates, and an increasing workforce skills gap."

I'll venture the thought that poverty (in health, education and the attitude, through these, obtained) is the main cause of the existence of groups like Al Queda, the KKK and all other nefarious subcultures.
Or, more pointedly, and educated world is a happy world. Something to aim for.
not rated yet Dec 06, 2012
American culture as it exists today, is simply not compatible with effective education.

Poverty is pretty much irrelevant.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.