Poverty and Children

Poverty and Children

In an issue of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, James Garbarino includes a chapter on being poor in the United States. Ixchel finds that the author offers a fresh and more "in depth" account of what being a poor child is, including some personal memories of his own childhood. The review is historical and includes data up to the late 90’s regarding poverty. Contrary to the usual accounts of numerous statistics, Garbarino goes beyond numbers to give a human face to poverty, including the experiences of shame, of "feeling outside" and not as "regular people". He correlates the numerous stressors of poverty with brain development, social and emotional development and with values. He cautions against taking "economic indicators" (that are very optimistic) at face value, as they do not take the poor into account when the economy is measured as if it were a uniform and global phenomenon only . This is a powerful review of the effects of poverty on the emotional life of children and families.

Garbarino, J. The stress of being a poor child in America. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 1998. Vol. 7. No. 1. p. 105-118