Abstract
America is one of the riches countries in the world it is home to approximately 406 billionaires and many millionaires, babies are being born into poverty about every 32 seconds everyday (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) reports one is every five children are born in to poverty and children constitute for the poorest age group in America (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). About 22% of children in American families are officially considered poor (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013). Extreme poverty exists when a family of four lives below or half the annual poverty level of $22,050 (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). The National Center for Children in Poverty states that in order for families to cover basic expenses they would need double that amount (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013). Through research findings this paper will identify, analyze and discuss the main issues of child poverty and the ways in which it effects child development and also provide recommendations that can assist in eliminating child poverty for future generations to come.

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State of America’s Children: Child Poverty
America is one of the riches countries in the world it is home to approximately 406 billionaires and many millionaires, babies are being born into poverty about every 32 seconds everyday (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) reports one is every five children are born in to poverty and children constitute for the poorest age group in America (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). Extreme poverty exists when a family of four lives below or half the annual poverty level of $22,050 (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). The National Center for Children in Poverty states that in order for families to cover basic expenses they would need double that amount (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013). This standard would confirm that 45% of children living in America are from low-income families (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013). In America at least one in 12 children lives in extreme poverty (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010).

The United States has the largest division between the rich and poor

Page 2 Child Poverty Essay

on record according to The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). For less than $140 billion dollars poverty could be eradicated in the United States (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). The findings of the report conducted by The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) estimates that Pennsylvania (the state in which I reside) ranked sixth in the ten states with the largest number of poor suburban children and ranked ninth in the ten states with the largest number of poor urban children (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). The report also stated that California ranked first in both the ten states with the largest number of poor suburban and urban children (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). The children who are exposed to poverty often times have parents who work but their jobs pay them low wages and their work is unstable (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013).

This causes the children and their families to struggle to make ends meet on a day to day basis (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013). Research has shown that children who live in poverty display difficulties in their learning capabilities and also have issues with behavioral, emotional, and social problems (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013). Poor physical and mental health is also contributed to childhood poverty (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013). The risks due to poverty also increase in children who were exposed to poverty at a young age and/or experience profound constant poverty (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013).

The reason why the data and the information I researched is important to understand in the context of child development is that it justifies some of theories presented by psychologists concerning poverty and child development. Research has clearly proven that poverty in children has the most largest and detrimental effect on a child’s well-being (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013). Studies have shown that there is a link between poverty and early childhood development (Beck, T., 2002). Various scholars over many years have tried to answer the well-established question “”To what extent does childhood poverty adversely affect cognitive, language, and social development and thereby reduce opportunities for success and happiness in adulthood (Beck, T., 2002)?”

To begin to answer the question much research had taken place (Beck, T., 2002). There had been extensive research completed over two decades on both developmental psychology and economics. First with regard to economics the study would speculate on how the consequences of poverty affected children in various ways. Secondly the research conducted would bring about valuable information that would be vital to aid policymakers in assisting in helping poor children (Beck, T., 2002). Research was done on the relationship between a child’s behavioral, language, and cognitive development and their family’s economic resources by Professor Kathleen McCartney and Dr. Eric Bearing, developmental psychologists at Harvard University (Beck, T., 2002). Data was collected by using a new and intriguing data set from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care (Beck, T., 2002).

It measured the differences between poor and non-poor children and their outcomes (Beck, T., 2002). The finding of their research on poverty and child development were that a child’s early childhood development (children from newborns to 3 years) was impacted significantly by his or hers family income and that the level of poverty the child was exposed to also played a vital role in the child’ development as well (Beck, T., 2002).Maternal intelligence was also measured and deemed important in a child’s development but the effects of the family’s income still had more effect on a child’s development which measured at 73.5% (Beck, T., 2002). Although the findings of this particular study are alarming and overwhelming both psychologists feel that more research needs to be done for a better understanding of how economics can be made available to aid in the increase of children’s developmental outcomes in the future (Beck, T., 2002).

After researching the dilemma of child poverty it is sad to acknowledge that even it exists here in America. Most people believe that is only happens in faraway countries such as Africa and India which is far from reality. America is one of the riches countries in the world it is home to approximately 406 billionaires and many millionaires, babies are being born into poverty about every 32 seconds everyday (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). About 22% of children in American families are officially considered poor (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2013). According to the Children’s Defense Fund child poverty can be eliminated here in the U.S. for less than $140 billion dollars (Children’s Defense Fund, 2010). The recommendations I would offer to address the issue of child poverty for future generations would be first for them to obtain an education beyond high school for themselves so they can attain well-paying steady employment so that their own children will not have to be exposed to child poverty which will eliminate the negative effects that child poverty can bring. I would also recommend that they do not put a blind eye to the problem of child poverty so that they themselves and society as a whole can put measures in place to combat and ultimately end the vicious cycle of child poverty.

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