Effects of Poverty, Hunger and Homelessness on Children and Youth

Assigned Materials: “Effects of Poverty, Hunger and Homelessness on Children and Youth”, “How Do You Define Poverty, Part 1 and Part 2”, and access information on the number of families living in poverty in your county. Summary of Materials: The article, “Effects of Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness on Children and Youth”, provides vast amounts of information and the far reaching effects on lives of the individuals living in those circumstances (“American Psychology”, n. d. ).

This problem is not distributed evenly among diverse ethnic groups or locations in the United States according to the You Tube video, “Professors 302, Part 1” (2011). In Henry County, Tennessee, 17. 2% of the people live below the poverty level (US Department of Commerce, 2012) with 10. 6% being families according to the Tennessee Economic Council on Women (Rawls, Reynolds & Eubanks, 2010). By attaching faces to these statistics, we may be able to scratch the surface of understanding the immense depth of the problems that poverty, hunger, and homelessness create for an individual and how it may evolve from one generation to the next.

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The consensus is that a collaborated plan needs to evolve between all agencies involved in working with this need in order to even attempt to deal with the issues and rectify the problem. The effects of poverty on children has varying repercussions on their physical, mental, learning capabilities, and social relationships, not just when they are children, but as they mature and take their place in society (Driscoll, Nagel,2012).

Poverty has been linked to poor children with “almost twice the increased risk for stunted growth, iron deficiency, and severe asthma” (Driscoll, Nagel, 2012). These come from the many adverse effects “linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and under resourced school”(American Psychological Association, n. d. ,p. 2).

Poverty goes beyond these physical detriments into the personal realm of “poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socioemotional problems, and developmental delays” (American Psychological Association, n. d. , p. 2). Parents that feel the strain economically are more likely to treat their children differently than parents who are higher ranked socially and economically because of the constant worry about food, clothing, and housing, consequently, transferring that stress to their children unintentionally being unsupportive and somewhat disconnected(Driscoll, Nagel, 2012).

Many factors may have an impact on children but “school-age children who experience severe hunger are at increased risk for the following negative outcomes: homelessness, chronic health conditions, stressful life conditions, psychiatric distress, behavioral problems, internalizing behavior, including depression, anxiety, withdrawal, and poor self-esteem” (American Psychological Association, n. . ,p5). There are assistance programs available to help supplement food supplies such as “Women, Infants and Children (WIC)…, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)…, and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)” (American Psychological Association, n. d. ,p. 6), but that does not delve into the major problems constantly a part of those in poverty’s lives.

According to a video on You Tube, “The Professor- Defining Poverty”, the participants in this round table discussion feels that unless there becomes a consolidated structured agenda between departments of state and private agencies, then the problem will continue to grow and expand(Twenty Wise TV-Part 2, 2011).

Hosted by Kennedy-Ted Williams from King College, and guests being Antonio Vasquez –William Wright College, Jessica Nawles and Bessie Alcantabar of the BUILD private organization for the betterment of the youth on the streets of Chicago brought interesting concepts to the discussion which included the streamlined diversity of poverty according to race(Twenty Wise TV-Part 1, 2011).. Hispanic and blacks have the highest level of poverty statistics in the nation demeaning their status in social society attaching a stigma. Twenty Wise TV-Part 1, 2011). The major concern is that even though a person rises above this persona of poverty statistics, they still have the stigma attached. This is the reason that BUILD has taken the initiative to work from the inside out and try to improve their personal image of themselves (Twenty Wise TV-Part 2, 2011). With this type of reasoning, they are hoping to break the cycle of poverty. All four guests concur that unless there must be a unifying of government programs and private programs in an ttempt to cover the spectrum of what is needed to conquer poverty that breeds hunger, homelessness, and uneducated individuals (Twenty Wise TV-Part 2, 2011). Personal Reaction: Poverty has expanded and created a new face on the way it is looked upon by people. It is no longer just those individuals that have always been below poverty level for generation after generation, but poverty has besieged some of those in the middle class. This every widening gap between the wealthy and the poor has created a need for new and innovative means to stop the progress of the problem.

The facts of how hunger affects our youth’s ability to function at full capacity mentally, to be energetic and happy, and dream of a better future has become all too familiar a problem in one of the wealthiest nations on earth. It is alarming to imagine that our children are doing without food in a country that supplies most of the world’s food. We are a nation that helps every nation when disaster strikes. We have, as a country, this mammoth amount of humanitarianism, but our children are going hungry and homeless leaving our country in even a worse dilemma for the next generation.

Statistics show that “U. S. poverty rates rose to 15. 1 percent (46. 2 million) in 2010…the highest level since 1993” (American Psychological Association, n. d. , p1). Over 15% of all Americans live in poverty with all the negative effects and conditions involved in that concept. As I thought on this concept and the area of the country in which we live, I pondered on how many of those students are in each classroom. The programs installed to feed those students who qualify for free or reduced breakfast and lunches are wonderful, but what about the rest of the time?

Are their parents to proud to accept help from the government or do they even qualify? Are they going hungry the rest of the time? Do they have someplace to live that is safe and warm? Do they feel they are different from others because their hunger overtakes their desire to learn or they have lacked the nutrients to feed the brain what it needs? We know that these factors affect a child and their ability to learn. How are children of poverty going to lift themselves out of poverty without proper food, support and a good education?

Other factors are apparent in a child of poverty that affects their ability to interact socially with their peers in the classroom, and later in life, with authoritative figures. Children who do not have loving, safe homes are at a greater possibility of behavioral and emotional problems. Without the ability to function in society and become involved with other people because of anger, aggression, anxiety, depression, low self- esteem or a number of other emotional and behavior problems, an adult individual becomes anti-social.

Without the ability to function as a productive member of society with high self-esteem and an education, they are not going to be able to rise above the sea of poverty. We have so many facets that depend on the system set into place to help those that need it the most- those living in poverty. Giving SNAP is a great program, but if they are not taught how to cook and stretch that resource, then the children are still going to go hungry. Without government subsidized housing for low income individuals so that they have a place to live, then those in poverty will be homeless.

Without a united effort of agencies, both government and charitable, feeding the problem without instructions will only continue to leave the poor in poverty and never teach them how to raise themselves above the quagmire reaching for the needed sustenance to gain an education that leads to the stairs out of poverty. Critical Reflection: The ability to effect change has been an ongoing problem in the fight against poverty and the effects that poverty has on children emotionally, physically, and psychology. There have been a few successful programs implemented allowing for success in high poverty-high unemployment areas.

Research has proven that “Earning a high school diploma is key to success in many areas of life, including being able to continue education, increasing one’s chance for a good job and earnings, and maintaining overall health and wellbeing” (Kormo, Flay, & Biglan, 2011, p. 112). It is exceedingly hard to break out of the poverty cycle, especially when it has been ingrained for generations. “The interrelatedness of educational achievement and social, psychological, behavioral, and physical health and wellbeing points to the need for comprehensive efforts to prevent the many and varied deleterious consequences of poverty” (Kormo et al, 201l, p. 12). One such program was instituted known as the “Harlem Children’s Zone” project that incorporated the following in a part of Harlem in New York City. This successful project expanded from a few city blocks into over 100 city blocks today. “The HCZ developed and implemented a network of programs and strategies, including (1) parenting classes for expectant and new parents, (2) a pre-kindergarten program, (3) charter schools, (4) afterschool programs, (5) an office to help students apply for and make the transition into college, (6) an employment and technology center, and (7) organization of tenant and block associations.

Charter schools were a main component of their efforts and included a variety of strategies to help children succeed, including (1) hiring and maintaining only high-quality teachers who obtained measurable academic success with their students measured with standardized test scores; (2) teacher and student incentives (e. g. , money, trips); (3) social workers; (4) extended school days and years, plus afterschool tutoring; (5) medical services within the school; and (6) a nutritious food program”. Kormo et al, 201l, pp. 112-113) This was a program that broke the surface for intervention into poverty and the cycle of emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems through a structured program known as “Promise Neighborhoods Research Consortium” involving “networking…,technology…, measurement…, [and] intervention” (Kormo et al,201l, p. 114). Poor children do not only have a risk physically and emotionally, but have a greater risk of not developing their intelligence. Children who experienced poverty during four to five of their first five years experienced a full nine-point decline in intelligence test scores compared to children who experienced no poverty”( Ozkan, Purutcuoglu & Hablemitoglu, 2010, p. 172). Intelligence is accessed to all characteristics of poverty affecting a child, but today, “New Poverty” (Ozkan, 2010, p. 173) is attributed to the most unique characteristic of …the expansion of economic growth goes hand in hand with the increase in inequality and poverty.

In this new form, poverty manifests itself not only as lack of income, hunger, malnutrition, ill health, limited or lack of access to education and other basic services, and increased mortality from illness, but also as increased homelessness and inadequate housing, unsafe environments, social discrimination and exclusion. Moreover, whereas opportunities for active participation indecision-making, civil, social and cultural life are available to society at large, such access is denied to those defined the new poor” (Ozkan, 2010, p. 173).

This exclusion and discrimination is another factor in the education of a child. If a family or child is excluded, not only their physical needs but their mental developmental needs will be lacking. All of these factors relate to the interaction of a child with their peers on an equal basis which is impossible without the necessary environment in which to thrive and develop with assuredness. “Childhood poverty is associated with a range of negative health, social and psychological outcomes, all of which can place a considerable burden on the individuals, their families and their communities.

The negative impacts are arguably largest when poverty coincides with a child’s early years” (Davies, Crothers, & Hanna, 2010, p. 20). Only a few of the programs that are in place are easing the child poverty distress. The need for a correlated effort of private and governmental agencies is needed to put into place directives that can change circumstances for the poor. We are losing far to many children to poverty and it’s far reaching fingers of destruction. References American Psychological Association. n. d. ). Effects of poverty, hunger, and homelessness on children and youth. Retrieved from http://www. apa. org/pi/families/poverty. aspx Davies, E. , Crothers, C. & Hanna, K. (2010). Preventing child poverty: Barriers and solutions. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 39(2), 20-3. http://web. ebscohost. com. ezproxy. utm. edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer? vid=6&hid=128&sid=6f2c57b3-1b0d-439a-8 Driscoll, A. , Nagel, G. (2012). Poverty and the effects on children and parents.

Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall. Retrieved from http://www. education. com/reference/article/poverty-children-parents/. Kormo, K. , Flay, B. & Biglan, A. (2011). Creating nurturing environments: A science-based framework for promoting child health and development within high-poverty neighborhoods. Clinical Child & Psychology Review. 14,111-134. DOI 10. 1007/s10567-011-0095-2 Ozkan,Y. , Purutcuoglu,E. , Hablemitoglu, S. (2010) Interpersonal impact of the poverty on children.

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Effects of Poverty, Hunger and Homelessness on Children and Youth. (2016, Dec 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/effects-of-poverty-hunger-and-homelessness-on-children-and-youth/