Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you think that mere poverty causes behavior and mental issues in children?

Asked by Dutchess_III (27160 points ) July 22nd, 2013

Or is the type of parenting a child gets THE most important issue, regardless of income? I came across this article. It flat out states that poverty is more likely to be responsible for low functioning kids than drug use during pregnancy.

I will ALWAYS take offense at that. You can be poor, but still do a good job parenting. I resented the assumption that my kids were going to suffer in school and wind up on drugs, yadda yadda yadda just because we were poor. Yes, we were poor, but I made an effort to surround my kids with nice things, nice furniture (mostly garage sale stuff) I painted the walls of our rental house, patched holes, replaced screens, fixed things myself as they broke. My porches, my house, my kids, were always clean and neat. They minded their manners, and they minded me. I taught them to open doors for older people, and to give up their seats to an older person.

Most of the last generation (my parent’s generation) were raised in poverty, due to the Great Depression. We don’t see an over abundance of problem people from that era.
If you live in a neighborhood where shootings and drugs are becoming rampant, MOVE. I did. And I was in poverty at the time.

Stop blaming poverty, and start putting the blame where it belongs. Don’t blame your income level. Don’t blame the schools. Don’t blame your ex. Take responsibility for your kids and their lives.

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89 Answers

tom_g's avatar

I suspect it has more to do with walking in to a convenience store in their pajamas and slippers, and buying candy and soda with food stamps.

harangutan's avatar

You can be poor AND be a good parent. Poverty does not cause bad behavior, bad parenting does.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Exactly @harangutan. Exactly. “My kids are screwed up because we were poor.”
And the fact that you smoked dope and did drugs in front of them has nothing to do with it? The same could be said of wealthy people too.

YARNLADY's avatar

Poverty is not a cause, it is a symptom. There are many who live in poverty who are good parents. It depends entirely on the reason behind the poverty.

I once read that being a boy was the cause of ADHD, because twice as many boys are diagnosed with it than girls.

JLeslie's avatar

I think there is a possibility when they look at stats it seems like poverty is a very big contributor, but I actually think that is just a correlation and not really the cause. Poor people who live in urban centers often live in war zones, which upsets me so much. Guns, drugs, and more exposure to mental illness and lack of adult guidance. Also, sometimes, there is lack of good nutrition, exposure to chemicals like lead paint and other environmental contaminants, which can be both in rural and urban settings. The child might also be unaware of opportunities and life outside of poverty, because their parents might be unaware.

However, there are plenty of poor people who are wonderful parents, and just simply wonderful in general. Their career choice might not pay a lot, or where they live might not offer high salaries.

Income level does not really tell you about a person, you can’t make any assumptions. But, living in an impovershed area probably does put a few obstacles in the way of children depending on the area they live. If they are growing up on a small farm with plenty to eat, go to school, and run free with their friends in the afternoons, that sounds good to me.

I do believe my grandfather and his siblings had mental illness because they lived in poverty during a hateful time where they were very oppressed. Poverty made them more vulnerable.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! Yeah. It’s the same reasoning @YARNLADY.
My daughter is in poverty, but she doesn’t smoke, doesn’t do drugs, doesn’t drink, and she has some FANtastic kids. She’s one of the best mothers I’ve ever known.
Some of the people around her (in section 8 housing) are a different story. One 17 year old kid, who lived above her with his mom, OD’d on some recreational drug that his MOTHER had GIVEN him. What she did has nothing to do with a lack of money. It has everything to do with awful parenting.

JLeslie's avatar

Just read what @YARNLADY wrote about ADHD, I agree it is the same type of logic.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Poverty CAN make you more vulnerable, @JLeslie. That’s for sure. It’s just something one needs to combat (along with all the other depressing things that come from being poor.)
My point is, they need to take the blame off of poverty. That sends a message of helplessness to poor people.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I might disagree. The devil’s advocate would argue that people who don’t give a shit about poor people need to wake up and see it impacts not only the individual, but society at large. People don’t like seeing run down ghettos, people who have mental breakdowns from impossible circumstances, maybe we need to pay a better wage.

jerv's avatar

Not knowing when (or if) you’ll eat again can mess with you.

jaytkay's avatar

You’re offended by a statement of facts?

1) They did a study of babies – half exposed to cocaine, half not.
2) They followed the progress of kids for 20+ years.
3) They found that poverty was more associated to bad outcomes than exposure to cocaine.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, yes @JLeslie. On the other hand, people can take responsibility for their own little living area. If the apartments are run down, you can at least keep your little place clean. When I first moved into my rental on Soward so much stuff had been torn up by the previous tenant. I worked, cleaned, painted for months. It mostly took time, very little money. Being poor does not cause people to be sloppy, to throw trash over their balcony, let trash pile up in the house, to let broken furniture and toys outside of their house, in their yard. Being poor does NOT cause that.

@jerv, in this country, poor people get food stamps. No one is in danger of starving to death, except maybe homeless people who are off the grid.

@jaytkay, It is NOT a fact. My kids did very well in school. They excelled in some areas, never flunked anything. They live comfortable lives. One of my girls graduated from college and makes a very comfortable living as a QA manager. My son and his wife are preparing to buy their first house. I have another daughter who’s fighting, but I have every confidence she’ll fight her way out, like I did.
How could any of that be possible if poverty, in and of itself, creates bad outcomes? How did they escape a “bad outcome”?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Also, @JLeslie I couldn’t agree with you more about the wages. It’s a BITCH to try and live on $250 a week (Which is $7.50 an hour, less taxes.) My rent was $350, the utilities, no matter how much we froze and baked, were between $75 and $150. Phone bill, etc. But still….my kids were OK. We just didn’t have a lot of “stuff.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jaytkay It may have been associated with bad outcomes. It didn’t cause it.

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III The working poor fall through the cracks more often than you would believe. My own childhood is proof of that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Can you be more specific @jerv?

Dutchess_III's avatar

BTW, I can totally relate to your comment, Jerv. I received state health insurance for the kids (it wasn’t available for me though.) At one point I received a letter stating they were going to cancel the insurance on the kids because I made $12.00 a year too much—over the poverty level. By $12.00. Major crack opened up underneath me then. Fortunately, within 6 months I was able to land a job that provided insurance. I’m just glad no one got badly hurt or sick during those 6 months.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I was raised fairly poor by a single parent with grandparents that helped and churches that helped. I really didn’t realize I was poor until jr high, and I have to say, after that it did affect me.

My goals were lowered because I knew mom couldn’t afford to send me to cheerleading camp, buy outfits and all that. I never went to a formal because I didn’t want mom to feel bad, instead I kind of acted like I was ‘too cool’ for that. I stopped focusing on top grades and GPA because mom couldn’t afford college. When I finally did go to college, my dad was a jerk and didn’t want to pay, so I just quit.

I will honestly say that if we had had money, my life and goals would have been very different. But I did hear I love you every day, I was always clean and had decent clothes, and all my friends loved to hang out with my mom and at our house.

Emotionally I was richer than most, and blessed that she taught me about God, too. Some of my richer friends sure had some really sad events and several told me they were never told “I love you” by their parents, so I feel pretty lucky.

jaytkay's avatar

It is NOT a fact. My kids did very well in school

What did I write that was not a fact?

There was a study. They reported the results.

There is no claim of an absolute scale where poverty is always worse than smoking crack.

bkcunningham's avatar

“In summary, this carefully conducted study spanning adolescence shows no effects of GCE on inhibitory control, working memory or receptive language. While cocaine exposure was not related to Incidental Memory in baseline models, addition of environmental covariates to these models revealed that on the Incidental Word Memory task scores for the GCE group increased at a slower rate than for controls and on the Incidental Face Memory task control participants scored higher than GCE participants. Our results provide additional evidence that environmental variables such as those assessed in the HOME Inventory influence cognitive outcomes. As shown here and elsewhere the cognitive performance of our cohort is below average, suggesting that overall effects of poverty are placing GCE and Control children at a clinically significant disadvantage compared to other children their age. An important priority for those who care for GCE children and all children born into high risk environments is to address the problems that contribute to their disadvantage, including not only maternal drug use but also limited access to resources needed to provide cognitively and emotionally stimulating experiences early in life.” Source

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jaytkay Correct me if I’m wrong, but the article implied that poverty had more of an emotional/physical impact on kids than dope smoking while their moms were pregnant. I take offense that poverty, by itself, causes those problems.

I would agree that many children IN poverty have troubles, but I maintain that it’s because of the parent’s lifestyle (choices which can lead to poverty) rather than the lack of money.

I’m saying that the article is only presenting one aspect of the lives of the kids. “It may have been associated with bad outcomes. It didn’t cause it.

I say again, it sends a defeating message to families who are poor. A needless and defeating message.

It doesn’t matter that it was a 20 year study. It only presented one side.

jaytkay's avatar

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the article implied that poverty had more of an emotional/physical impact on kids than dope smoking while their moms were pregnant

Yes, the impact is greater on average.

It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact. They are reporting what they observed.

They aren’t accusing you of something or insulting your kids. There’s no reason to take offense.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jaytkay I take offense on behalf of all of the poor people who are fighting, tooth and nail, to get out, and who are being told, by “studies” such as this that they are fighting a losing fight. Studies like this say, “Don’t matter, you’re poor, your kids don’t have a chance.”

That’s BS. It’s the parenting that makes the difference, not the income.

bkcunningham's avatar

What are “emotionally stimulating experiences early in life” that children in poverty are lacking?

jaytkay's avatar

@Dutchess_III

20+ years ago someone was concerned about the prospects for “crack babies”.

They carefully followed groups of kids to see the effects.

Should they hide the results?

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III There are certain parts of my life that I would rather not divulge in a public, online forum, and a few that I would rather not even remember at all.

Suffice it to say that your experience with the $12 was one of the problems my mother and I faced (at least once we started working our way out of the hole), that spending even part of a New England winter living in a panel truck sucks, and most forms of public assistance (as well as most job applications) require an actual address as opposed to a license plate number.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I absolutely did not mean to imply poor people are always slobs. I don’t think that at all. But, people who cannot take care of themselves well often wind up poor, and so among the poor you are more likely to get those people living near you. In the suburbs where the home owners association puts a lien on your house if you don’t cut your lawn, or if you have too many pets, you are less likely to see things very whacked. The people inside might be horrible parents, the people inside might be semihoarders, but the neighborhood looks good. Also, as neighborhoods go through their life cycle, the older homes get more run down, lower income moves in, and so the neighborhood might look more run down than a newer neighborhood. Painting might get put off, or driveways might have more cracks, etc. This is not always true though, sometimes old neighborhoods stay very desirable. Or, it might be a crappy landlord that lets some things get into disrepair.

My grandfather was very poor party because he immigrated at a very young age to America, partly because he was mentally ill, partly because he had very little education, partly because he was slightly hard of hearing. His mental illness definitely affected his parenting skills. He was intelligent, I would say very intelligent, but ignorant about many things, not able to handle much. He did work every day until retirement. He kept a roof over his children’s heads and food in their tummies. My dad and his sister definitely benefitted from the education offered where they grew up. Poor kids had great access if they excelled or if they were brilliant. If they had grown up in poverty in some small town in MS life would have been very different for them. Having said all that, there are certainly middle class people who have mental illness. Some illnesses are easier to manage than others.

I don’t think you should take offense. If your family is doing fine, then who cares what the stats say. The stat for education level of Hispanics in America is Mexicans are the least educated of the various Hispanic groups. The average education for a Mexican immigrant to the US is an 8th grade education, the average in Mexico is 5th grade. Or, that was the stat 10 years ago. My SIL took offense to that stat, my husband doesn’t. It is just a statistic, there are plenty of doctors and lawyers and PhD level people in Mexico. Not to mention their parents only have 5th and 8th grade educations ironically. I don’t know why his sister takes offense when it is simply a statistic. A generalization.

Judi's avatar

Poverty DOES make it harder. I think it’s related to Maslows hierarchy of needs. If you are consumed with the basics of survival it is harder to do the intentional parenting that most of us hope to do.
I remember as a child not asking to go to the doctor (I had pneumonia) because I knew that my parents were stressed about money and couldn’t afford a doctors visit. I was only around 5 and didn’t realize that if I had spoken up they would have taken me. Finally my grown sister realized how sick I was and took it on herself to take me.
As much as I hate to admit it, when my kids were young there were moments that they would present a need to me and although I hope I never said it out loud, all I could think was, how am I going to afford this??? I suffer from a lot of mommy guilt due to the choices I made when I was an impoverished parent. In retrospect, many of those choices would be different.

Rarebear's avatar

No. I see a lot of children in poverty in my job, and they’re normal, and I see fucked up rich kids. It’s the parenting, not the money.

josie's avatar

More people in the history of the species have grown up in a state of what any reasonable person would call poverty than anything else. Jesus was one. So was Abraham Lincoln. Etc.
If the premise was true, most of humanity would have been, and would be, mentally compromised.

jerv's avatar

@josie Whose to say they aren’t? Just because something is the statistical norm, that doesn’t make it right.

johnpowell's avatar

“Yes, we were poor, but I made an effort to surround my kids with nice things, nice furniture (mostly garage sale stuff) I painted the walls of our rental house, patched holes, replaced screens, fixed things myself as they broke.”

I hate to break it to you but you were not poor. Poor was waiting in line for food box that contained a box of saltines, rice, and a few cans of beans. Looking at paint swatches isn’t poor unless you stole the paint.

We get it, you hate the poor and think they are lazy while trying to make it look like you were one too for a bit of a ego boost.

Dutchess_III's avatar

As @Rarebear said, rich people can have totally fucked up kids. Why don’t we blame that on the fact that the parents are rich?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@johnpowell For me being poor was living in low-income housing (income-based) we weren’t allowed to even paint any walls, have a dog, nada…. and I took several trips to the food pantry from the State, I thought it meant we were special though since the cheese and things were really cool to a kid…lol

Being poor means needs versus wants, and you rarely have what you need all at once. I’m just grateful my mom wasn’t as much a jerk as my rich father who just didn’t care one way or the other.

bkcunningham's avatar

Did anyone read the study?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KNOWITALL You made my point exactly. The amount of money you have, or don’t have, doesn’t have to affect your parenting. The choices you make outside of that do.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yep, my mom was a great parent for many years of my childhood. Although being poor is another kind of stigma that does affect a child in a lot of ways.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It does @KNOWITALL but only because of the stigma and the lack of things that other kids take for granted. They built a new pool in town….and raised the rates to get in. For the next two years my kids got to go swimming only on their birthdays. That sucked, but didn’t make them bad kids. We still had the river, which is free. :)

My only point is, being POOR does not create low functioning children or adults. The choices a parent makes does. It can make things difficult, for sure, but it’s not a given that the kid will have problems and I take offense at those who say they will JUST because they’re poor. I take offense because to say that sends a message of “you’re hopeless and helpless” to low income people, and we need to stop sending that message.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie I didn’t mean that you (or anyone else) think that poor people are slobs. I only bring that up to point out that being a slob is a personal choice and has nothing to do with how much money a person has.

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III Did they eat every day? How many times did you get evicted and have to move because you couldn’t make rent? That sort of thing will mess a kid up. At best, uncertainty leads to anxiety. Or maybe they outgrow uncertainty and move on to depression. Good parenting may gloss over lack of luxuries, but not lack of essentials.

I think you have a different idea of poverty than I do. Have you ever been truly poor?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sure it will @jerv.
Yes, they ate every day. We had food stamps.
Never got evicted but came close. I remember a couple of times there was no money coming in, and I looked around my house thinking I could sell that and that and that to make my rent. Just the thought of selling anything made me cry because much of it belonged to my mom when we were growing up and I had a lot of memories attached to the things. However, something always came up, and I managed to scrape by. I worked so many different jobs struggling to keep my head above water, trying all the while to land a teaching position. I worked a back-breaking job at a factory through a temp service for a period of several weeks. I ran daycare. I was a bank teller, I worked in retail sales and I substitute taught during the school year.

What is your definition of poor? I can’t answer your question until I know what that is. Give me a dollar amount.

johnpowell's avatar

I arrived at a homeless shelter when I was 15 in Las Vegas. We had stayed at a battered woman’s shelter in Cedar City previously. This was the first time I was separated from my mom in a shelter and it was fucking frighting. Yeah, a 15 year old boy scared of getting naked around other men. But forced to get naked and shower with the other guys if I wanted a bunk to sleep on.

Fucking paradise.

Dutchess_III's avatar

God @johnpowell. That’s horrible, especially since you were a kid and didn’t have any control over it. I’m sorry. :( My moronic ex wound up in a shelter in Seattle, with my 14 year old daughter. He was in Boeing management here in Wichita. After 13 years at Boeing he decided he didn’t like that job so he quit. Just quit. And left town. And wound up in a shelter. He’s been wandering kind of aimlessly since. Last I heard he was working as a sheriff’s officer or something.

bkcunningham's avatar

@johnpowell, it sounds like you’ve been through some tough times. I respect that and it helps to understand some of your answers.

I’ve known people who were younger than you and working so their families could eat. I swim with a woman whose mother died when she was very young and she was raised by the nuns in a monastery. The kids were hired out to households to work and the money went back to the church. My mom was the child of a sharecropper and only had a third grade education. Some of her childhood memories make me cry now just thinking about the poverty she knew. I can take you to visit people now who live in clapboard houses and don’t have running water in their homes. I can take you to a tent city in the Ocala National Forest complete with children who attend the local schools. I can go on and on.

All of these people, including all the people here who have known poverty and f-ing tough times like others can’t imagine are smart, wise and kind people. But that has nothing to do with what the study was about or what it says. It is a study dealing with crack babies and crack babies who grew up with poverty. I may be wrong, but that is how I read it. Carryon.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Half were crack babies, the other half were not @bkcunningham. The ones who weren’t were the control group. They were ALL lower income, inner city kids, and almost all black. Well, that right there is liable to skew the results. They needed to include kids from higher income levels and other races too. I would bet they’d find problem children across the board, due to parenting issues.

The finding said that poverty had a bigger effect on the kids than the crack did. That’s too much of a blanket statement. It wasn’t the poverty per se, it was the choices the parents made otherwise. The choices they made to do drugs, etc.

bkcunningham's avatar

“In summary, this carefully conducted study spanning adolescence shows no effects of GCE on inhibitory control, working memory or receptive language. While cocaine exposure was not related to Incidental Memory in baseline models, addition of environmental covariates to these models revealed that on the Incidental Word Memory task scores for the GCE group increased at a slower rate than for controls and on the Incidental Face Memory task control participants scored higher than GCE participants. Our results provide additional evidence that environmental variables such as those assessed in the HOME Inventory influence cognitive outcomes. As shown here and elsewhere the cognitive performance of our cohort is below average, suggesting that overall effects of poverty are placing GCE and Control children at a clinically significant disadvantage compared to other children their age. An important priority for those who care for GCE children and all children born into high risk environments is to address the problems that contribute to their disadvantage, including not only maternal drug use but also limited access to resources needed to provide cognitively and emotionally stimulating experiences early in life.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I never said they weren’t at a disadvantage, but they needed to stress the HOME environment more than the poverty issue.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was friends with a black woman and her family for a few years. She and her husband were low income. She had 3 kids of her own, and she took on her 4 nieces and nephews after their mom died giving birth to their little sister. (Two of the boys, Truman and Therman, spent almost every weekend at my house…long story.) Anyway, when I met her she didn’t live far from me, in a section 8 housing area. It was a quiet neighborhood on a cul-de-sac. She had a big house (she needed a big house!) and it was quite nice. There were different races living there.
Then, for reasons I still don’t understand she and her husband up and moved the kids to Northeast Wichita, which is a hotbed of gang activity. All of Northeast Wichita was black, and there were lots of drugs, lots of violence. I visited her and the kids there a couple of times. The house was much smaller, everyone was packed in. Every time someone drove by she’d crane her neck to see who it was. She told me she heard gunshots all the time.
It was a scary, scary neighborhood and I don’t understand why she moved. I think she said she wanted to be closer to some family member or something…..
But maybe there was something out of their control that forced them to take their gang recruitment aged kids to the heart of gangland. I don’t know.
Eventually she sent the oldest two, Truman and Thurman, to KC to live with their drug dealing dad.
It was all so sad. I lost track of all of them.

annabee's avatar

Since it is poor parents that choose to produce children, then it is poor parents that cause all of the poor child’s problems. A mother needs to give birth before her son/daughter may experience the negative effects of poverty.

Also, since genes influence behavior and development and it is parents who pass down their genetic material to their kids, then the child’s problems are caused by the inherited genes from the parents.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@annabee… that’s the kind of smug, superior attitude that poor people do NOT need. There are lots of reasons that people wind up poor. In my post above I noted that my friend wound up with SEVEN kids to take care of.
I was not poor when my kids were born.
And that crap about the genetics is just that. Crap. There is no gene that disposes one to poverty.
Attitudes in the home can affect an outcome more than any one other thing.

jerv's avatar

Obvious troll is obvious.

annabee's avatar

Yes, let us ignore the hard sciences and focus on short stories and statistically insignificant personal experiences.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What hard science? All I saw was some insufferable blathering….your opinion only, as far as I can see.

annabee's avatar

Genetics is a hard science. Parents pass down genes to offspring. Those inherited traits influence the offspring’s behavior, development, IQ, personality. Since you call this crap, then there is nothing to talk about with you.

Paradox25's avatar

I’m not sure how to answer the question, but I’ll attempt to by stating that I think poverty can definitely become a factor in a child’s mental development. From my own experience growing up as a poor child it was definitely clear to me at the time that children from poor families were treated differently when compared to children from well to do or respected families.

It didn’t seem to matter much that I’d possessed a very high level reading ability compared to the wealthier kids in my grade, along with the fact that I frequently made the honor roll still didn’t spare me from being forced to attend remedial courses. I was usually stuck in special needs and alternative classes, despite my excellent grades and learning ability, to only watch my peers attend normal classes. A good deal of these kids from well to do families couldn’t even read!

I’m sure poverty is definitely a factor, and it does make me wonder how many geniuses are living in cardboard boxes right now. Like I’ve said poverty does seem to determine how a child may be treated by the educational system, at least from my experience. I’m sure that poverty doesn’t help, and not knowing when you’ll eat again does tend to affect a child’s outlook on life. Maybe I would had became an entirely different person if I would had grown up in different circumstances, but would it have been for the better?

Dutchess_III's avatar

The study of genetics is not crap. To suggest that there is a gene for poverty is. If that were the case, then my parents would have been poor as adults (they were both raised in utter poverty) and all three of their daughters would be poor as well. I mean, we got the poor gene from BOTH parents! And you can’t control the genes you get.
In actuality, Dad went to school on the GI bill and got his EE degree. We were raised in an lower upper income household.
My sister is a high level manager at Boeing now.
I’m not poor.
According to your theory we girls should all be uncontrollably poor (genetics means you inherit things out side of your control.) and so should our children.

But we’re not and they aren’t.

annabee's avatar

Where did I suggest poverty is genetic?

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Also, since genes influence behavior and development and it is parents who pass down their genetic material to their kids, then the child’s problems are caused by the inherited genes from the parents.” ~ annabee.

@Paradox25 Interesting. I’m glad my kids were never targeted unfairly like that! My oldest consistently made the honor role.
I agree….poverty can make things very hard, but it’s the attitudes in the home that ultimately determine the outcomes.
Yes, not knowing where your next mean is coming from would be stressful. Getting evicted and moving all the time would be stressful.
I worked in an Adult HS Diploma Completion program. I taught in the jail. A new student’s first assignment was to write a brief autobiography about themselves. Without fail, everyone of them had attended 10 more more different schools, their parents moved them around a LOT. Instability is stressful for a kid.
It’s up to the parents to make the kids life as stable as they possibly can.

annabee's avatar

Where do you see the word poverty in that quote of mine?

annabee's avatar

@Dutchess_III wrote “I was not poor when my kids were born.”

That doesn’t change the fact that when you ended up in poverty, you reduced your kids to poverty as well. Since you reduced them to poverty, you’re the cause of the negative effects they experience in poverty.

bkcunningham's avatar

So, what’s your point, @annabee?

annabee's avatar

That the cause is parents, not poverty. Parents cause child poverty, child poverty causes child problems.

The focus was on child poverty when focus should be on parents.

bkcunningham's avatar

That is what @Dutchess_III was saying too. I think you are preaching to the choir.

annabee's avatar

Well I never addressed @Dutchess_III name when I gave my original answer, so I’m not sure what exactly sparked her to engage in conversation with me. If she was in agreement, she would have remained silent.

My only conclusion is that she misunderstood what I was saying.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’‘ve seen some pretty awful things in homes of the poor and rich alike.

@johnpowell Wow, sorry, that’s terrible.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Me too @KNOWITALL. That’s why I think that study was skewed because it only included lower income children. If they had included all incomes they would have found the same problems across the board.

My children didn’t experience any “negative effects” during the years we were poor @annabee. They just didn’t have as much stuff as other kids, but that’s not a negative thing. They learned to appreciate what they DID have. And they had me.
They certainly didn’t experience the kinds of problems the kids across the street experienced and they weren’t poor. But their household was a nightmare, with nightmare parents.

I agree…parents cause poverty (or it’s dropped on their heads,) and it’s the parents who determine whether the kids come through it OK.

annabee's avatar

I told you this before, personal experiences are statistically insignificant. It means nothing. Here, I’ll quote you tomathons’s answer from the Trayvon question:

_“Have you guys ever seen the list of nobel laureates? They’re mostly Jews and Germanic people coupled with other various types of whites. Not asian, not black, not hispanic.

“Have you ever seen the list of medalist winners for running? They’re most black champions, not white, not hispanic, not asian.”

“There are always exceptions, but if you think these stats don’t tell you something, then you’re not seeing or don’t want to see.”

Now someone like you will come along and say they personally know a black nobel laureate. It still doesn’t change the fact that out of over 800 nobel laureates only a handful are black and within that handful of blacks, with the exception of 1 or 2, they were only rewarded a peace prize as oppose to the maths and sciences dominated by the previously mentioned races.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What are you talking about @annabee? Facts are facts. A higher incident of poor people will have offspring that wind up poor also. So what?

annabee's avatar

I’m talking about one of your comments. “My children didn’t experience any “negative effects” during the years we were poor.”

You feel as if this personal experience of yours somehow negates the statistical significance of the study you linked you. I’m trying to show you that your personal experience is insignificant. It is a subjective experience too. If you want to make your experience objective, you would have needed a third-party observer throughout that poverty stricken situation of yours.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was only responding to your statement, which was directed to me ”....when you ended up in poverty, you reduced your kids to poverty as well. Since you reduced them to poverty, you’re the cause of the negative effects they experience in poverty.

I was pointing out that they didn’t suffer any negative effects. And I was the cause of that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I also think the test was awfully skewed.

annabee's avatar

There is a very easy way to check. See if it was peer-reviewed by a respectable peer-review community. If it wasn’t, then it is trash.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You sound like @Rarebear!

Anyway, you and I are in agreement. Poverty by itself doesn’t cause problems for the kids. Poverty along with poor parenting causes problems. Being rich, but having uncaring parents causes the same problems. Thing is, when you’re rich, you tend to be able to buy your way out of trouble.

annabee's avatar

Poverty and parenting is only one aspect (nurture). You completely ignored the natural aspect (nature-genetics). Not only did you ignore it but you inaccurately emphasized on nurture’s significance over nature. Just because the nurturing is good, doesn’t mean it can overcome the nature of that individual. See the nobel laureate/olympic medal example for proof.

I wasn’t able to find this study on any peer-review site. It might actually be trash or I’m just bad at searching.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m thinking that someone who did crack while they were pregnant is going to automatically fail the parenting test.

bkcunningham's avatar

It was published in a peer reviewed journal. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/about/authorms/

annabee's avatar

That is not a link to the study. That is a discription of a sub-category of the about page.

bkcunningham's avatar

I linked the study earlier. Sorry.

annabee's avatar

^^^^ There you go @Dutchess_III. No reason to think it is skewed now. It is legit.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That second paper is undoubtedly legit and more accurately supports my claim that it is parenting, and the environment the parents create for the child, not the lack of money, that affects a child’s development, as the first not-so-legit paper (linked to in m details) claims. To pull out one sentence from the second report ” ...early cognitively stimulating experiences in the home environment are critical for later learning

Further, the second study admits that their relatively low sample size probably affected the outcome (which supports my claim that they didn’t have enough controls and was therefore skewed): ”....this report has several limitations. First, sample size impacts our statistical power. It may be with a larger sample size we would have been able to detect effects GCE smaller than 0.04 standard deviation units for each outcome.”

I don’t disagree that poverty can have a negative effect. But I still maintain that the parents can create happy, intelligent, well adjusted children in spite of it, as the first paper points out.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Agreed.

@annabee To me, statistics are interesting, but our personal experiences are directly relating to this particular subject so we know of what we speak.

Paradox25's avatar

@Dutchess_III I wasn’t the only poor kid targeted by the system. The authorities in my area at the time obviously assumed that children born to single mothers or born in poverty were defective by default. I was able to read high school level biology, geography and chemistry books, and on top of that I probably already read enough books by the age of 8 to create a minilibrary. Those books that I’d read were not kiddie books either, and my grades were top notch. Maybe I would had grown up differently if it wern’t for the poverty. I blame myself to a degree since after a certain amount of time I stopped caring about my grades and school and got in with the wrong crowd.

Personally, while both are factors, I really don’t feel that issues such as economics or common social woes are the main causes of mental problems in children. Correlation, yes, but not causation. I’m going to give you an unscientific answer for your question, that no I don’t feel that poverty is the cause of mental issues in children. I still feel that eliminating gender role pressures, along with teaching children to be compassionate and empathetic towards all people, regardless of their sex, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc. I really feel that these simple crude concepts do ultimately shape bigger issues as mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

Our society seems to be divided into two main factions, conservative minded traditionalists and liberal minded hedonists, and neither are a good thing in my opinion. You can have wealthy parents, the economic system of your choice, the political system of your choice, the one true religion, etc, but in the end none of these ideas matter if the morality of the people behind them is corrupted.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I heard you say it was your whole school system, and that just really sucks, @Paradox25.

As for the rest…well said! Thanks.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Dutchess_III, what second paper?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Paper 1 is the one I linked to in my details. The second, the more valid one, is the one you linked to.

bkcunningham's avatar

Okay. Gotcha. I misunderstood ya’ doll face.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Doll face?! Man! I think I punched the last person/guy who said that to me! LOLL!!

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