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Growing Up in

Poverty
Touro University Nevada

Samantha Burneo, Marissa Elder, Ayessa Escandar, Gifty


Frimpong, Jennifer Tom, Jennifer Unck, & Faith Wilkins

Book Review
Robert Peace (Rob) grew up in poverty in
the city of Orange, New Jersey
Earned a full ride scholarship to Yale
University
Majored in molecular biophysics and
biochemistry
Often torn between the life of academia
and the life of the streets
At the age of thirty, he was brutally
murdered due to a drug related incident

(Simon & Schuster, n.d.)

(Hobbs, 2015)

Themes from the Book


Dual identity--Yale vs. Newark
Cultural barriers impeding success
Education for children in poverty
Resources and opportunities for individuals poverty
Relationship-family, friends, and drug lords
Strong desire to return to his community

(Hobbs, 2015)

Introductory Video

(Childrens Defense Fund, 2015)

Definition: Poverty
The Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by
family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. If a familys
total income is less than the familys threshold, then the family and every
individual in it is considered in poverty.
Income before taxes and does not include capital gains or noncash
benefits (e.g. public housing, Medicaid, food stamps)

Bureau, 2015)

(United States Census

2015 Poverty Threshold

(United States Census Bureau, 2015)

National Statistics
2014 Highlights
Poverty rate: 14.8%

Children under the age of 18 = 21.1%

People aged 18 to 64 = 3.5%

People aged 65 and older = 10%

Number of people in poverty was not statistically different from the


previous year
Poverty rates for most demographic groups were not statistically
different from the previous year

Except for people with a bachelors degree or more, and married-couple families
(United States Census Bureau, 2014)

Nevada Statistics
People below poverty level in 2009-2013 = 15%
Poverty rate of children jumped from 15% (2008) to 23% (2013)
1.7 million more children live in low-income families
Nevada ranks 43rd in family and community development indicators

Children living in high poverty areas.

(Casey Foundation, 2015)

Occupational Injustice
Occupational Apartheid
Occupational Alienation
Occupational Deprivation
Occupational Marginalization
Occupational Imbalance

Interview Questions

What were your family dynamics? Children? Parent(s)? Did they work?
Can you discuss what your daily life is like?
What things were most valuable to you growing up?
How did you overcome trials in your life?
What is your highest level of education?
What do you see as barriers in your life?
If provided with adequate resources how would you utilize them in your daily
life? Do you think you were informed enough on opportunities available to
you growing up?
How did poverty impact your occupations?
What are your goals in life?
How do you define success?
What changes would you suggest in order to prevent the oppression
experienced by individuals born into poverty?

Interviewee Profile
Casey is a 27 year old male residing in a suburban Chicago city. He grew up in
a small rural Illinois town with his single mother and younger sister. He no
longer resides in his hometown due to lack of opportunity and increased
exposure to peers who are addicted to drugs. Casey graduated from the
University of Illinois with a degree in accounting. He was thankful for the
opportunity to reflect upon his childhood and the impact poverty had played
on his life.
Casey ended the interview stating, The real problem is not poverty, it is
opportunity inequality. People deserve the opportunity to succeed despite
income levels. I am waiting for the opportunity to prove my potential,
because I know I can succeed.

Interview Themes
Opportunity Inequality

Mainly after college

Lack of role models


I just want a chance to live up to my potential.
Gratefulness

Interviewee Profile 2
Alan Dean Richmond is a 79 year old male from Simi Valley, CA. He was born
in Los Angeles, CA and raised with his two siblings and parents in a 14 foot
trailer for most of his life. His family moved around a lot as a child because his
father was an alcoholic.
Alan worked full-time in college and obtained a doctorate degree in education.
He taught 5th and 6th grade for most of his life. He is an accomplished artist
and published a book on ways to incorporate art into other core school
subjects. He has been married for 57 years and has six children and 26
grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

14 foot trailer from the 1950s

(Tincantourist, n.d.)

Interviewee 2 Themes
Education is a key to success and is precious.

His occupational choice, his degree

Hard work will get you out of poverty

Working as a child on...

Course corrections are frequent in the life of an individual who is poor.

6 elementary schools, 2 different middle schools, 1 high (but four addresses)

Didnt learn to read until he repeated the third grade

Air force

Access to Healthcare
Socioeconomic disadvantages number one barrier to healthcare in U.s
o

This factor is by far the most important factor explaining 40.40% of total variance
(Wang
& Luo, 2005, p. 139).

This encompasses other factors such as ...female headed households,


population in poverty, non white minorities, households without vehicles,
homeownership, and housing units lack of basic amenities(Wang & Luo,
2005, p. 139).

Access to Healthcare
Sociocultural barriers is the second reason Americans have trouble
accessing healthcare
It includes three variables: households with linguistic isolation,
households with >1 person per room, and population without highschool diploma (Wang & Luo, 2005, p. 139).

Access to Healthcare for Children Living in


Poverty
with a Disability
Parents of children who did not access all services needed were asked

why services were not accessed. The 2 most common responses were
that the services "cost too much" or that there was a "health plan
problem.(Porterfield & McBride, 2007, p.327).
"Lack of resources at school" was often listed as a barrier to accessing
healthcare.
Parents living in poverty were more likely to admit that their child
struggled with occupations but less likely to access services (Porterfield &
McBride, 2007, p.327)

Impact of Marginalization
Socioeconomic
Report stated Americans have a big mobility gap compared to other
countries
Lack of mobility between classes
Thinner safety net

Academic achievement

Depth of American poverty leaves children far behind

(Deparle, 2012)

Impact of Marginalization
Diversity factor: Boys vs. girls
A study regarding The Moving to Opportunity Program instituted in 1990
Homing program of single mothers from poverty neighborhoods
Increasing the socioeconomic of mothers and children
Girls removed from the poverty neighborhoods did not demonstrate declining mental
health status.

This was attributed to the acceptance rates of young girls to new


neighborhoods compared to young boys who are often considered a
threat
Radio, 2014a)

(National Public

Impact of Marginalization
Lifestyle choices: Single Parenting
Children raised without two parents at home experience less support
and stability in relationships.
Lack self-respect and self-esteem
Children without father figures may present the following:

Poor academic performance

Behavioral issues

Abuse drugs

Commit crimes

Poverty

(Ludden, 2014)

Population Beliefs
Personal Accounts
Work ethic
Belief about Poverty

The real problem is people who have potential but arent allowed to act Opportunity
inequality People born into certain circumstances have certain opportunities that
people born into poverty dont have (C. S., personal communication, February 14, 2016)

I have had a successful life. I think anyone in America who works hard and gets a good
education can escape poverty. (A. R., personal communication, February 22, 2016).

Broad View
Religious

Correlation between religion and poverty


(Miller, 2014)

Population Values
Personal Accounts:
Education

For school, I went to 6 different elementary schools, 2 middle school, and 1 high school
but when I was in high we moved to four different addresses. (A. R., open
communication, February 22, 2016).

Family/Friends
Work
Broad View:
Desire for a job/meaningful work
Better connections to the rest of the world
A reduced threat of violence
End to the regular daily humiliation and disrespect.

(Melamed, 2011)

Population Roles & Customary


Role Reversal
Practices

Fronting

...felt his psyche being racked by the relentless obligation to be of this world after the
last four years had wholly removed him from it. (p.217)

Leader
Student
Friend
Worker

I had to work full time while I was going to school full time so my grades werent that
good. I never had any scholarships or anything when in college. (A. R., personal
communication, February 22, 2016)

Health, Well-being, and


Occupational
Engagement
Effects of Health
Could sleep deprivation be a large contributing factor to poverty?

Sleeping with no pillow, maybe a blanket, noise from the street, no shelter from the
elements

The potential effects of sleep deprivation:

Low energy, function slower cognitively, physically and emotionally, have poorer
understanding of delayed gratification, poor money management

(Aizenman, 2015)

Health, Well-being, and


Occupational
Engagement
Effects of Health
Hunger:
Unwanted weight loss, fatigue, headaches, irritability, inability to concentrate

Undernutrition during pregnancy:


low birth weight, related birth defects, increased risk of respiratory, neurological,
cognitive problems

Limited health-care access:


unable to afford health services, health supplies and healthcare providers may refuse to
accept certain health insurances because of low reimbursement rates
(Park, Turnbull, Turnbull III, 2002)

Health, Well-being, and


Occupational
Engagement
Effects of Well-being
Emotional well-being: Adaptability, positive thinking, identity, happiness,
stress/exhaustion (Park, Turnbull, Turnbull III, 2002)
Childhood poverty has been found to be linked to emotional
dysregulation and associated with negative physical and psychological
health in adulthood (Kim et al, 2013)

Health, Well-being, and


Occupational
Engagement
Effects of Occupational Engagement
Productivity: Participating in and contributing to useful and enjoyable
daily activity

Delayed cognitive development

Families are unable to afford quality child care and intellectually stimulating
experiences

Limited leisure opportunities

Individuals are unable to afford for cost of equipment

Take on high risk, unhealthy habits during unstructured time

Free recreation programs for individuals with disabilities do not cater to their
needs
(Park, Turnbull, Turnbull III, 2002)

Health, Well-being, and


Occupational
Engagement
Family interaction
Inconsistent, unresponsive parenting
Marital conflict over money,
Increased sibling responsibilities

(Park, Turnbull, Turnbull III, 2002)

Conceptual Framework of
Family QOL

(Park, Turnbull, Turnbull III, 2002)

Impact of Poverty on Family


Life Domains

(Park, Turnbull, Turnbull III, 2002)

Role of Occupational Therapy


Stress Management Program

Program utilized in an impoverished rural community.

Random sample of 160 participants from Limpopo Province of South Africa

Compare 4 stress management programs

Data gathered through 2 questionnaires

Outcome assessed after 8 weeks

Results: reduction in stress in all four programs

Most successful stress program included physical methods of controlling stress

(Crouch, 2008)

Access to Education
Children born into poverty are less likely to perform well in school and to
finish school
Inadequate schooling for children born into poverty negatively affects
their economic success at a large cost to society
The family is a major producer of the skills and motivation required to
providing successful students and workers-James Heckman
Parents of poor children use their resources to provide food and shelter
rather than to nourish their childrens cognitive and social skills
$4-$9 per dollar invested benefit the community in regards to decrease
in crime, welfare, and education remediation
(Schippers, 2014)

Role of Occupational Therapy


cont.
Early intervention programs

The High/Scope Perry Project

The Carolina Abecedarian Program

Follow up age 40: higher earnings, more likely to hold a job, committed fewer
crimes, more likely to have graduated high school. Benefits to society per dollar
invested $17.07 (Schippers, 2014)
Benefited students achievement and graduation rates. Benefited society $3.78 per
dollar invested (Schippers, 2014)

The Chicago Parent and Child Centers Study

Reductions in arrests, child welfare expense, and increased adult earnings.


Benefited of $7.10 per dollar invested (Schippers, 2014)

Role of Occupational Therapy


School Breaks
cont.
Signs in which a child may have had a less than enjoyable break
How Can Occupational Therapist help?

Provide a predictable environment


Active lessons
Verbal transitions and songs
Create a safe environment
Explain to the kids and show them on a calendar when they will return from the break

Face of Poverty Activity

(Podachm, 2012)

References
Aizenman, N. (2015). Sleepless nights and lighter wallets: The Link Between Poverty And Sleep. Retrieved from
http://www.npr.org/2015/12/06/458662028/a-bad-nights-sleep-might-do-more-harm-than-you-think
Casey Foundation. (2015). Income working families today than in midst of great recession. Retrieved from:
http://www.aecf.org/blog/17-million-more-children-live-in-low-income-working-families-today-than-in/
Children's Defense Fund. (2015, July 20). Child poverty: In their own Words [Video file]. Retrieved from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLrTZ5IG_Eg
Crouch, R. (2008). A community-based stress management programme for an impoverished population in South
Africa. Occupational Therapy International, 15(2), 71-86.
Deparle, J. (2012). Harder for Americans to rise from lower rungs. Retrieved from
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/harder-for-americans-to-rise-from-lower-rungs.html?_r=1
Hobbs, J. (2014). The short and tragic life of Robert Peace. New York, NY: Scribner
Kim, P., Evans, G., Angstadt, M.,Ho, S., Sripada, C., Swain, J., Liberzon, IPhan, L. (2013). Effects of childhood poverty
and chronic stress on emotion regulatory brain function in adulthood. Psychological and Cognitive Sciences,
110(46), 18442-18447.Doi:10.1073/pnas.1308240110

References cont.
Ludden, J. (2014). To break cycle of child poverty, teaching mom and dad to
get along. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2014/07/08/329798341/teaching-family-skills-to-tackle-poverty
http://www.beachcenter.org/research/FullArticles/PDF/FQL1_Impacts%20of%20poverty%20on%20Quality.pdf
Melamed, C. (2011, March 17). What do poor people want? The Guardian. Retrieved from
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/mar/17/what-poor-people-want
Miller, M. (2014). Why are the poor more religious? The Humanist. Retrieved
http://thehumanist.com/news/national/why-are-the-poor-more-religious
National Public Radio.(2014). Study: Boys report PTSD when moved out of poverty. Retrieved from
http://www.npr.org/2014/03/12/289299044/study-boys-report-ptsd-when-moved-out-of-poverty
Park, J., Turnbull, A., Turnbull III, H. (2002). Impacts of poverty on quality of life in families of children with disabilities.
Council for exceptional children 68(2),151-170.

References cont.
Podachm. (2012, September 20). The new face of homelessness [Video file]. Retrieved from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr85eJEqAzg
Porterfield, S. L., & McBride, T. D. (2007). The effect of poverty and caregiver education on perceived need and
access to
health services among children with special health care needs. American Journal of Public Health,97(2), 323-329.
Schippers, V. (2014). No Preschooler Left Behind: The need for high quality early intervention for children born into
poverty. Multicultural Education, 22(1), 41-45.
Simon & Schuster. (n.d.). The short and tragic Life of Robert Peace [Image file]. Retrieved from
http://books.simonandschuster.com/The-Short-and-Tragic-Life-of-Robert-Peace/Jeff-Hobbs/9781476731919
Tincantourist. (n.d.). Trailers for sale. Retrieved from
http://www.tincantourists.com/classified/showproduct.php?product=8605&title=1950-boles-aero-14trailer&cat=3#.U_Sm__ldVic
United States Census Bureau. (2015). Poverty. Retrieved from
https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/measure.html\

References
United States Census Bureau. (2014). Poverty 2014 highlights. Retrieved from
https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/
U.S. Department of f Health & Human Services. (2015). 2015 Poverty guidelines. Retrieved from
https://aspe.hhs.gov/2015-poverty-guidelines
Wang, F., & Luo, W. (2005). Assessing spatial and nonspatial factors for healthcare access: Towards an integrated
approach to defining health professional shortage areas. Health & place, 11(2), 131-146.