Family poverty

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Family poverty is frequently accompanied by a number of detrimental situations, including as high mobility and homelessness, food insecurity and hunger, domestic violence, absent parents, drug misuse, teen dropouts, and criminality, which are characterized as toxic stressors because of how severe they are (Aizer and Anna 112). Notably, neighborhood and school-related poverty has a big impact on school dropouts and teen violence. Juvenile delinquency is defined as the involvement of young people in unlawful activities like theft and drug misuse, typically with the intention of satiating the emptiness that poverty creates in their life. In the school associated poverty, the students lack necessary equipment for learning, have inadequate resources and inadequate infrastructure; all which create a unconducive environment for active learning to take place in the schools.

In 1995, statistics hold that the expenditure of students in the state of California was USD 4939 thousand annually while the funding that was disbursed to the schools per students was only USD 250 thousand (Arvanites and Thomas 365). Therefore, there is a big difference that is not catered for between the expenditure of the students mostly from needy public schools and the funds that are located to them by the government. The funding generates vast differences in the quality of the school facilities, buildings, curricula, teacher qualification and experience, class sizes, equipment for instructions, the presence of auxiliary professionals and other resources that are important to learning in the institutions.

Even to date, the inequality in the disbursement of funds is different both in schools per state and within the states. While other students from high-income parts of the California state have ready access to school psychologists, guidance counselors, up-to-date textbooks, and personal laptops to enhance their studies as opposed to their fellow peer in high-poverty areas. The students in schools that are in the unfortunate districts which experience such shortages need extra help yet have fewer tutors, guidance counselors, lower-paid teachers, untrained teachers, and psychologists than the wealthier districts. The discrepancies occur mainly because the public schools are both run and funded by the local cities and towns and the funding of the schools drawn from the local property taxes (Heide and Kathleen 203). The areas stricken by high poverty have significantly low home values hence there is less tax collection that cannot match the need of the schools in such areas converse to the wealthy districts.

Further, the disparities are brought by the policy of funding of both secondary and elementary education that uses the local wealth. Conversely, the state should develop a strategy so that the funds are equalized across the country, and the schools should be funded according to the need of the students (Nebbitt 233). When the facilities are not adequate or of the standard quality, the learners may be affected and either stop the learning for some time or do the same at a slower rate. For instance, the high schools in California with a student who is from high-poverty families lose about two-learning weeks every year because of emergency lockdowns, teacher absence, testing, other several disruptions as opposed to their peers who are more affluent in other schools.

Another research showed that in very low-income schools, students lost thirty minutes a day to factors that are connected to the economic pressures. Besides, there was no firm timetable in such schools because of the increase in transiency (Nguyen et al. 757). An observation was also made that in the poor schools, there was more tardiness experienced in the learners and brought by their incapability to get fair to college. The teachers in the schools that have reduced students and receive an inadequate amount of funds from the state spend more time in counseling their students, providing career and college advice, involved in discussions about financial responsibility and inequality, and several other issues that have far-fetched connections to the academic subjects.

The students were also found to be three times likely to suffer from stress compared to their fellow peer who is more affluent. The stress would be caused by majorly unstable housing problems that made the families be on the move every time, also from violence, providing care for family members and the same time attending school lessons, immigration, lack of health, and even hunger. There have been conversations, and several debates on the inequality of funding of schools by the state and John Rogers who is education professor said that the quality of education differs by the zip codes because, despite students from highest-poverty schools needing much, they get fewer funds to propel their education.

Also, in Los Angeles in the year 2016, another conversation arose of two non-profit educational organizations that merged with plans to expand their funding of schools countrywide with the aim of giving the poor student a level ground for studying. Besides, in a lawsuit that was filed by a coalition of students, parents, unions, teachers, and other residents seeking the state to ameliorate the discrepancies, their attorney, Joseph Moodhe argued that funding system is unconstitutional since it is inadequately done and also inequitably distributed (Parkes 211). It has also been said that the loss of learning time in the high-poverty schools in a violation of the constitutional rights of the victimized students to an equal education.

There is a strong correlation between undereducated children and juvenile crime. In the high-poverty public schools, the children experience several challenges as having been discussed. Another problem is the overcrowded classrooms due to the small ratio of the present teachers to the students (Walter 210). The inadequacies lead to poor attendance of the learners, poor academic performance, and expulsion from school or dropping out; which all in a way or another magnify the student's probability of committing a crime. Due to the challenges, the young people face in school due to poverty to the extent of some taking care of their families may quickly lead them to take part in crimes. When the two extremes both poverty and inadequate education are experienced by these young people, they increasingly become disinterested in training and begin to search other alternatives of getting their daily bread. Moreover, their mental framework gets distorted making them vulnerable to making wrong decisions and choices in life.

All these contributions lead to lower rates of success in the students who pursue their education in the high-poverty schools. Evidently, the students in such schools have a lot of time out of school which they probably use in doing wrong things. Besides, due to their young age and the peer pressure, the students tend to make the wrong choices as a group. The children with poor education may also learn that they are disadvantaged in the workforce. Such feelings of hopelessness when intensified by the emphasis by the national media on low employment opportunities and fiscal crises create an environment that is ripe for juvenile crime. The early quitting of school may significantly reduce the chance of the young persons to develop the social skills that are mostly gained at school and that help in disciplining a person for instance, they do not get the chance to be trained on such things as following instructions, meeting deadlines, and gaining the ability to work together with the peers constructively.

Therefore, it is clear that the students from the disadvantaged families suffer due to the nature of the education system of the unequal funding. Such families are not likely to stay in the suburbs hence the problem of housing makes it difficult for the same to attend the well-funded schools but end up in schools that may be said to be providing second-class educations. The performance of such students are adversely affected because of short times of study, inadequate resources to be used in the studies and also a low number of teachers, psychologist counselors, most recent textbooks, tutors, and instructors who help the students in learning.

Due to the age that quickly gives in to pressure from peer groups, the teens involve themselves in drug, gang and other activities and these deviant behaviors are transmitted or transferred to the other peers (Rosenfeld 130). The transmission happens due to an emotional entanglement that is in the adolescent peers. In fact, the peer contagion ripple effect impacts the groups of teens in particular geographical areas like the neighborhood; hence there results in the subsequent formation of gang territories. The peer influence is an integral part of the juvenile crime that if not countered may lead to perturbing crimes in various parts of the country.

The overall cause of the adolescent crime, therefore, is the child poverty. The children who live in poverty experience several disadvantages that include housing problems. A child from a low-income family will stay in poor districts where there are high crime rates.As the child grows, he or she gets used to crime because at some point he is convinced that one has to be radical to survive. Moreover, he also familiarizes with drugs and occasionally abuses the same (Nebbitt 235). Worse, the schools where he or she goes to study are poorly funded hence do not provide a high-quality education. Such an environment is unfavorable for proper and constructive learning to take place thus either the child drops out or finishes but does not achieve a grade that may allow him or her to further the studies or get employed in a good job. Mostly, these students are frequently suspended and even expelled from school because of substance addict and other criminal behaviors. Besides, the high population of the school children makes it difficult for the teachers to ensure disciple and quality learning takes place in the school. Finally, because their families require the basic needs like food, they opt for criminal solutions like theft in the provision of the essentials.

In summary, poverty and housing correlate with the crime in the adolescence which spreads amongst the peers in the poor neighborhood. Such adolescents are compelled by their state of poverty to be in poorly funded schools where they are unable to maximize their studies hence remain in their initial status of poverty and opt for criminal activities to meet the needs in their lives. The unequal and unevenly distributed funds that are disbursed to the schools significantly affect the lives of such children. The inequality in the funding of schools is because the same is managed and funded locally from the local property taxes.

Works cited

Aizer, Anna. Neighborhood Violence and Urban Youth. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2008.

Arvanites, Thomas. "Cycles of Poverty and Crime in America’S Inner Cities By Lewis D. Solomon." Crime, Law And Social Change, vol 61, no. 3, 2013, pp. 365-367. Springer Nature, doi:10.1007/s10611-013-9491-5.

Heide, Kathleen M. "Juvenile Homicide in America: How Can We Stop the Killing?." Behavioral Sciences & the Law, vol. 15, no. 2, Spring1997, pp. 203-220. EBSCOhost,

Nebbitt, Von E., et al. "Descriptive Analysis of Individual and Community Factors among African American Youths in Urban Public Housing." Social Work, vol. 59, no. 3, July 2014, pp. 231-241. EBSCOhost,

Nguyen, Quynh C., et al. "Heterogeneous Effects of Housing Vouchers on the Mental Health of US Adolescents." American Journal of Public Health, vol. 106, no. 4, Apr. 2016, pp. 755-762. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.303006.

Parkes, Jenny. Gender Violence in Poverty Contexts. Routledge, 2016.

Rosenfeld, Richard. Economics and Youth Violence: Crime, Disadvantage, and Community. NYU Press, 2013.

Walters, Glenn D. "The Drug–Crime Connection In Adolescent And Adult Respondents." Journal Of Drug Issues, vol 47, no. 2, 2016, pp. 205-216. SAGE Publications, doi:10.1177/0022042616681274.

March 15, 2023

Social Issues Crime


Poverty Issue Violence

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