The Environment of Childhood Poverty

Monday, March 18, 2013

Gary W. Evans

Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of Human Ecology
Cornell University

It’s obvious that poverty is bad for children’s development, but why? One reason poverty is inimical to healthy development is because of psychological stress created by the confluence of risk exposure. The environments of the one in four, American children currently growing up in poverty contain a plethora of suboptimal physical and psychosocial conditions that overwhelm the adaptive mechanisms of many children and their families.

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