Share
Explore BrainMass

Poverty and Children in the United States

Please can you assist me with the following questions:

- Analyze and examine the social problem of poverty and children in the US.
- Support answer with sociological theories.

Solution Preview

Hi,

Interesting topic! Let us see where I can be helpful.

RESPONSE:

Your tentative outline might look something to the effect.

I. Introduction (e.g. Introduce topic; explain why it is important; include theses or purpose statement: The purpose of this paper is to analyze...; define concepts.)
II. Poverty and Children in the United States
III. Sociological Theory
IV. Conclusion

1. Analyze and examine the social problem of poverty and children in the US

The place to start is to find some reliable information to analyze the social problem. In this analyze, prevalence statistics can be used, income levels, demographics, etc. How do you know it is a problem and how big of a problem is it? What factors are linked to these factors? What are the effects of poverty?

One in six children lives in poverty in America (http://www.savethechildren.org/programs/us-literacy-and-nutrition/).

"Poverty is defined as the lack of the minimum food and shelter necessary for maintaining life. More specifically, this condition is known as absolute poverty. Today it is estimated that more than 35 million Americans?approximately 14 percent of the population?live in poverty. Of course, like all other social science statistics, these are not without controversy. Other estimates of poverty in the United States range from 10 percent to 21 percent, depending on one's political leanings. This is why many sociologists prefer a relative, rather than an absolute, definition of poverty. According to the definition of relative poverty, the poor are those who lack what is needed by most Americans to live decently because they earn less than half of the nation's median income. By this standard, around 20 percent of Americans live in poverty, and this has been the case for at least the past 40 years. Of these 20 percent, 60 percent are from the working class poor" (http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/CliffsReviewTopic/Causes-and-Effects-of-Poverty.topicArticleId-26957,articleId-26882.html).

The social problem of poverty and children in the United States is rising. According the National Center for Children (NNCP) in poverty, for example, there are 73 million children in the United States.

? 39%?28.4 million?live in low-income families.
? 18%?12.8 million?live in poor families (http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_678.html)

NNCP also report that after a decade of decline, the proportion of children living in low-income families is rising again, a trend that began in 2000 (http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_678.html)

Demographics also clearly show that poverty in children in the United State is more prevalent in certain populations. For example, poverty in children in the United States is linked to various factors, such as the family characteristics of low-income families: employment, parent's education and family structure; race/ethnicity, country of birth of parent, region where the child lives. This is also supported by teory as shown in the second section below.

To support this above assertion, you can use the following information in the excerpt below. You can consider taking the questions out and just add a heading. For example, instead "What are the family characteristics of low-income children? Use the Heading: Family Characteristics of Low-income Children and so on. You could take the information out of point form and write it in paragraphs as well. And, you might decide to use only some of them. For example, the first point in the excerpt below might be written like this:

Demographics of family characteristics of low-income children show that even though over half (55%) of the children in low-income families have one parent that is working full-time, year-round, it is still below the poverty line as set for United States (http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_678.html).

EXCERPT (from NNCP website)

What are the family characteristics of low-income children?

Parents' Employment
? 55% of children in low-income families?15.6 million?have at least one parent who works full-time, year-round.
? 26% of children in low-income families?7.3 million?have at least one parent who works part-time or full-time, part-year.
? 19% of children in low-income families?5.5 million?do not have an employed parent.
Parents' Education
? 26% of children in low-income families?7.3 million?live with parents who have less than a high school education.
? 36% of children in low-income families?10.2 million?live with parents who have only a high school diploma.
? 39% of children in low-income families?10.9 million?live with parents who have some college or more.
Family Structure
? 51% of children in low-income families?14.6 million?live with a single parent.
? 49% of children in low-income families?13.8 million?live with married parents.

Does the percent of children in low-income families vary by children's age?

Young children are disproportionately low income. 42% of children under age 6?more than 10 million?live in low-income families.
? 43% of children under age 3 years?5.2 million?live in low-income families.
? 42% of children ages 3 and 4 years?3.3 million?live in low-income families.
? 41% of children age 5 years?1.6 million?live in low-income families.
? 39% of children ages 6 through 12 years?10.8 million?live in low-income families.
? 35% of children ages 13 through 17 years?7.4 million?live in low-income families.
Does the percent of children in low-income families vary by race/ethnicity?
? 61% of Latino children?8.8 million?live in low-income families.
? 61% of black children?6.5 million?live in low-income families.
? 28% of Asian children?0.8 million?live in low-income families.
? 26% of white children?11.1 million?live in low-income families.

Although Latino and black children are disproportionately low income, whites comprise the largest group of low-income children.

Does the percent of children in low-income families vary by parents' country of birth? 4

? 57% of children of immigrant parents?7.0 million?live in low-income families.
? 36% of children of native-born parents?20.4 million?live in low-income families.

Does the percent of children in low-income families vary by where children live?
Region

? 42% of children in the South?11.2 million?live in ...

Solution Summary

Supported by sociological theories, this solution examines poverty as a social problem for children in the United States (e.g. outline, statistics, demographics, etc.). Supplemented with an informative article excerpt on linking the sociological theories to poverty.

$2.19