Children living in poverty are exposed to certain risks, which can impact their development and pull them farther away from their dreams and push them toward a harsh reality. Childhood poverty can have dangerous familial, social and environmental effects on childhood development. Poverty can impact children on and individual, familial and environmental level. Some of the risks associated with poverty are less cognitive stimulation at home, unstable living conditions, and dangerous living environments. According to McLoyd & Conger’s Family Stress Model (Ceballo, 2014a), poverty can cause economic distress, or an anxiety about the “inability to cope with financial problems”. Families who are experiencing poverty are usually affected by certain stressors such as low income or income loss, unstable work and high debts (Ceballo, 2014a).
This economic pressure can cause psychological distresses on the family as a whole, including parental depression, marriage conflicts, and the inability to focus on child development. According to Ceballo (2014a), working class parents often stress obedience and have a more restrictive, power-assertive parenting technique. They tend to show less emotion, affection and warmth. These tough parenting techniques are usually due to lack of time and the addition of stresses. But they can lead the children to form unhealthy ideas about power dynamics. A lack of power and control at home may cause bursts of power-assertiveness outside the home, like at school. Children in poverty may rebel to seek control, or bully to gain a sense of power. Unfortunately, impoverished neighborhoods are often dangerous with a high presence of violence. Children ignored by parents, with rebellious tendencies, may make dangerous decision to get involved in gangs, drugs and other activities. Additionally, the lack of affection and focus on a child’s emotional development can have detrimental effects. For example, children may have a difficult time making friends or showing affection for others. Moreover, many families in poverty have parents who work multiple jobs or only one parent. The lack of focus on academic success is usually due to a lack of time on the part of the parents. This can cause a drop in cognitive performance in school and a lack of interest in further education and academics. Many children make the choice to drop out and not finish high school in order to help their parents with the income. Circumstances like these can lead to future of poverty for children when they become adults.
However, this is not the fate of all children who grow up in poverty. Many children possess and learn skills that help them build resilience to disadvantageous circumstances. Based on research by Zolkoski & Bullock (2012), resilience involves the presence of risks and protectors. They suggest that a resilient person is able to show that they were able to overcome difficulties and succeed in spite of being exposed to more problematic and disadvantageous situations than most (Zolkoski & Bullock, 2012). Similarly, my criteria for resilience and positive