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This text can help you practice types of questions

on the midterm exam. Please note that the


midterm is longer (about 1500 words)
Young Children and Poverty
Emotional and Social Challenges facing Poor Children

1. Many children from low socioeconomic status families face emotional and social
difficulties. Deep insecurities during childhood may result from weak or stressful
relationships during their infant years*. Very young children require healthy learning and
exploration for optimal mental development. Unfortunately, in impoverished families there is
a higher likelihood of undesirable factors such as unwed motherhood, depression, and poor
health care, all of which lead to less sensitivity toward the growing child (Van Ijzendoorn et
al., 2004).

2. Beginning at birth, the attachment between parent and child affects the quality of future
relationships with teachers and peers (Szewczyk-Sokolowski, Bost, & Wainwright, 2005) and
plays a leading role in the development of such social functions as curiosity, enthusiasm,
emotional maturity, independence, and social competence (Sroufe, 2005). At birth, the child is
capable of only six emotions: joy, anger, surprise, disgust, sadness, and fear. To grow up
emotionally healthy, children under the age of 3 need
A strong, reliable primary caregiver who provides consistent and unconditional love,
guidance, and support.
Safe, predictable, stable environments.
10 to 20 hours each week of enjoyable, give-and- take interactions. This process,
known as attunement, is most crucial during the first 624 months of infants' lives and
helps them develop a wider range of healthy emotions, including gratitude,
forgiveness, and empathy.
Enrichment through personalized, increasingly complex activities.
Children raised in families that lack capital are much less likely to have these central needs
met than wealthier children (parents who are out working all day for example may not have
the time for such interaction). As a result the children suffer undesirable consequences such as
slower emotional and social development, sometimes even leading to emotional problems.

3. In the US it has been found that in many very poor households, time is short, parental
education is lower than average, and there is little time or energy for warm emotionsall
factors that
* infant: a baby or very young child (under the age of 2 or 3) put the

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attunement process at risk (Feldman & Eidelman, 2009; Kearney, 1997; Segawa, 2008).
Poorer parents are more likely to be overworked, overstressed, and authoritarian with
children, perpetuating the same harsh disciplinary strategies used by their own parents and fail
to form solid, healthy relationships with their children (Ahnert, Pinquart, & Lamb, 2006)
forming a vicious circle in which future generations too are trapped.

4. Low socioeconomic status children are often left home to take care of themselves and
their younger siblings while their parents work long hours; compared with children from
wealthier families, they spend less time playing outdoors and more time watching television
and are less likely to participate in after-school activities. Unfortunately, children won't get the
model for how to develop proper emotions or respond appropriately to others from watching
cartoons; they need warm, person-to-person interactions. The lack of positive relationships
with other children has negative long-term socioemotional consequences.

5. Scarcity of money and other material resources often causes low-income parents to suffer
from feelings of diminished self-esteem, depression, and a sense of powerlessness and
inability to copefeelings that may get passed along to their children in the form of
insufficient nurturing, negativity, and a general failure to focus on children's needs. In a study
of emotional problems of children of single mothers, Keegan-Eamon and Zuehl (2001) found
that the stress of poverty increases depression rates among mothers, which results in an
increased use of physical punishment. Children themselves can also suffer from depression:
research shows that poverty is a major predictor of teenage depression (Denny, Clark,
Fleming, & Wall, 2004).

6. Addressing or reacting to these and other similar problems later in life is extremely
difficult, not to mention expensive. But several early interventions have shown promise. And
for the last few decades, one intervention in particular has captured the imagination of social
policy experts.

An Anti-poverty Program That Worked


7. In the late 1970s, a developmental psychologist named David Olds started a home visiting
program. Its original inspiration was the frustration Olds felt years before while working at an
urban day care center. He realized that many children had already developed serious
intellectual and mental problems, even though they were still relatively young.

8. Olds became convinced that acting early and targeting first-time mothers, ideally while
they were still pregnant, could help teach parenting skills that many of these young mothers
had never learned firsthand all while connecting both mothers and their children to the
services they might need to get by on a day-to-day basis. It was, he thought, the single best
chance to stop the cycle of poverty in its tracks.

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9. Olds eventually got funding to try a randomized experiment in Elmira, New York, and the
results were dramatic. Within two years, Olds found, the incidence of child neglect among
families in the program had plummeted relative to the incidence among families that were not
in the program. Subsequent experiments yielded similarly impressive results. Over and over
again, the families that got home visitors had fewer medical problems, higher participation in
the workforce and lower reliance on public assistance, as well as increased use of birth control
and spacing of pregnancies. As public health experts have long known, delaying a second
pregnancy can make a huge difference for young single mothers, increasing the likelihood
that they will be able to find a sound financial footing and create a stable home for their kids.
Most impressive of all, perhaps, was that the effects seemed to last. Follow-up studies on the
experiments that Olds conducted showed that reliance on public assistance among participants
was down while labor force participation was up, the incidence of child neglect had fallen by
nearly half, and run-ins with the criminal justice system (getting arrested or getting convicted)
had declined by around two-thirds.

10. In 2003, Olds helped to establish the Nurse-Family Partnership, a nationwide, nonprofit
organization that has operations across the U.S. and remains the gold standard for home
visiting programs. Subsequent publicity, including a widely read dispatch by Katherine Boo
in the New Yorker, encouraged states to start home visiting programs of their own. The
program really took off in 2010, when the Obama administration and its allies created
MIEHCV. Thanks to $1.5 billion in funding over four years, administration officials say, the
number of home visits nationally has tripled.

USEFUL WORDS
Poverty
(Poverty) trap
perpetuate (poverty) \
lack of resources
lack of capital
scarcity
socioeconomic status
income
Vicious circle/ vicious cycle ( )

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Young Children and Poverty
1. According to the information in paragraph 1
a. Fill in the cause and result chart below.

In impoverished families there is


a higher likelihood of
undesirable factors such as
unwed motherhood depression,
and poor health care

b. What is the final effect (of the above process) on children from low socioeconomic status?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

2. Give 2 reasons why the parent-child attachment is important for the social development of
the child.
1. __________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
2. __________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

3a. What is attunement?


_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________

3b. What are the emotions of

(i) a child who did not experience social attunement? (You may need to infer the answer).
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
(ii) a child who experienced social attunement??
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________

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4. Explain the "vicious circle" in which "future generations are trapped" (the "vicious circle is
mentioned at the end of par. 3).
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________

5. Why may children in poorer families suffer from less contact and warmth? List 3 reasons
1. _____________________________________________________________________
2. _____________________________________________________________________
3. _____________________________________________________________________

6. More time watching television has a negative effect on the child.


According to the text, is that true or false?
Check () one: true false
What is the effect?
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________

7. What idea is illustrated by the facts and studies mentioned in paragraph 5?


____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

8a. Describe the "intervention" that was at the basis of Olds' program to reduce poverty.
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

b. Was Olds' program successful?


Check () one: yes no
Give 2 pieces of evidence that show the program's success/ failure.
1. _____________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
2. _____________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

The End

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ANSWERS: Emotional and Social Challenges facing Poor Children
1a. Par. 1:

In impoverished families there is a less sensitivity toward the


higher likelihood of undesirable growing child
factors such as unwed motherhood
depression, and poor health care
(Notice the marker of
causation "lead to".)

b. Par. 1: Deep insecurities during childhood / the child faces social and emotional difficulties
(Note that the question relates to "children from low socioeconomic status families - the first
sentence of par. 2 is about all children so it does not answer the question. ."Unfortunately
"tells us what happens in very poor families.)

2. Par. 2:
1. It affects the quality of future relationships with teachers and peers
2. plays a leading role in the development of such social functions as curiosity,
enthusiasm, emotional maturity, independence, and social competence
(can also answer:
3. the attachment (attunement) helps them grow up emotionally healthy/ helps them
develop a wider range of healthy emotions, including gratitude etc)
(Notice the marker of listing "and".)

3a. 10 to 20 hours each week of enjoyable, give-and take interactions between parent and
child (par. 2)
(Note: definitions are usually given just before/after the term. The words "This process, known
as"send us back in the text.)

3b. Par. 2:
(i) the 6 basic ones that the child is born with / joy, anger, surprise, disgust, sadness, fear
(Notice: "At birth )
(ii) a wider range of healthy emotions, including gratitude, forgiveness, and empathy
(Notice: attunement, .helps them develop a wider range of healthy emotions, including )

4. Poorer parents are more likely to be overworked, overstressed, and authoritarian with
children, perpetuating the same harsh disciplinary strategies used by their own parents and fail
to form solid, healthy relationships with their children. When these children then become
parents they do the same thing to their own children, so it is like a "trap".

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(Note: What is important in the answer is to show that the behavior of the parents passes
on to the children who then pass it on to their own children.)

5. (Paragraphs 3, 4, 5)
in many poor households, time is short / in many poor households, there is little time
or energy for warm emotions
in many poor households, there is little energy for warm emotions
in many poor households, parents tend to be overworked, overstressed, and
authoritarian with children, perpetuating the same harsh disciplinary strategies used by
their own parents and fail to form solid, healthy relationships with their children
Low socioeconomic status children are often left home to take care of themselves and
their younger siblings while their parents work long hours;

6. true
false
By watching cartoons instead of playing with their friends, the children won't get the model
for how to develop proper emotions or respond appropriately to others
OR
By watching cartoons instead of playing with their friends the children lack positive
relationships with other children (which has negative long-term socioemotional
consequences)
(Notice " less likely to participate in after-school activities. Unfortunately,".
Remember: likely" to like and likely similar --- likely = )

7. Par. 5: Scarcity of money often causes low-income parents to suffer from feelings of
diminished self-esteem, depression, and a sense of powerlessness and inability to cope
feelings that may get passed along to their children in the form of insufficient nurturing,
negativity, and a general failure to focus on children's needs.
(Notice: the idea is in the sentence JUST BEFORE the first study in par. 5).

8a. Par. 8: Targeting first-time mothers, ideally while they were still pregnant, could help
teach parenting skills that many of these young mothers had never learned firsthand all
while connecting both mothers and their children to the services they might need to get by on
a day-to-day basis
(Notice: "It was, he (= Olds) thought, the single best chance to stop the cycle of poverty in its
tracks."
What will stop/reduce poverty? The word "It" tells us to go back)

b. Successful
Evidence: any of the experiments/ studies/ in par. 9 or the successful outcomes in par. 10
(Notice: evidence = research findings, expert opinion, facts, statistics )

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