Essay on Poverty and Special Populations

Submitted By Srockbubbles1
Words: 2003
Pages: 9

Reflective Paper
Stephanie Rock
University of Phoenix
Cultural Diversity and Special Populations
Maryann Sorrell
November 24, 2014
Reflective Paper
Special Populations are those that are at a greater disadvantage compared to the rest of the population. A few examples include a women, those who live in poverty, and the elderly. Live is full of difficulties, traumatic events, and issues, but for the special populations it is a never ending battle that seems never to get any easier.
There are roughly a little over 316 million people that live in the United States. Which is considered to be the wealthiest country in the world, according to the United States Census Bureau ("CDC," 2013), and yet there are 48.8 million people or 15.8% of the population that live with income below the poverty level. The income poverty level is based on of the size of the family, but it calculates up to be $4060 for each person in the family ("Poverty Guidelines," 2014). Poverty is referred to as a lack of material possessions or money, alone with the inability to adequately provide sufficient basic human needs.
Individuals are generally subjected into poverty in one of the two ways. The first way is as a result of the family income provider or loss of the only job providing for the family. Families that are in this form of poverty have a good chance of recovering due to their education, skills, support systems, and some may even have savings to fall back on to help them out. The second way of poverty is classified as generational poverty. Generational poverty occurs with families that at least two generations have been born into poverty (Welcome to poverty, 2006). Individuals in this type of poverty are more isolated, therefore, the mindset is stronger to remain in poverty because it is the only way they know how to live. Children of generational poverty see that their grandparents were poor, see their parents are poor, so they look at being poor as the normal lifestyle that everyone lives by. So why change what previous generations have done for so many years? Having this mindset or attitude towards life is one of the characteristics involved with generational poverty along with the lack of resources, education, and large family sizes.
Large families are a very common characteristic with generational poverty. To these families they look at the more kids they have, the more help they will have later on in life. More children mean more money, and more people to take care of aging parents. These families do not consider themselves as a unit of individuals that are related; instead they are looked at as objects of possession. Generational poverty families do not have many, if any, possessions so they look at their children as their most valuable, loving, and precious possessions (Welcome to poverty, 2006). Children being looked at as possessions and not individuals bring fear to the parents, which in turn results into another characteristic of generational poverty.
Parents of children in generational poverty fear that if their children become educated that they will want to carry out a future somewhere else. Therefore, they will move out and away from the area leaving the family behind. The fear of these parents is their children leaving home and the area not them being educated so much. These parents want the best for their children as long as the children remain home. It is for this reason that the average educational level of these individuals is only at an eighth-grade level. Many times the girls will be needed to help with the younger siblings and the boys will be needed to help with fixing things around the house or making money for the family. The mindset that these individuals are in they are strictly survival driven and not educationally driven to make something better of themselves. To them there is nothing that they can do outside of trying to survive as well as provide for their families. They…