Sample Essay Paper on Children Living in Poverty, Health and Education Hardships

Children Living in Poverty, Health and Education Hardships

Thesis statement

Individual children and the wider society face devastating consequences of poverty considering the prevailing economic conditions that they live in. These encompass economic loss resulting from low productivity, low educational levels which in turn result in low educational achievement among children living in poverty. In addition, such children are also in danger of suffering from poor health which is attributable to the fact that they do not feed on balanced diets and in some instances such children do not receive sufficient protection from environmental hazards (Arrighi & Maume, 2007). The effects of material poverty on children are real considering the implications that the said poverty levels have on their mental and educational health.

Children Living in Poverty, Health and Education Hardships


  1. Introduction
  2. Background information
  3. Facts

Statistics indicate that children living in the United States are at a higher risk of facing both health and economic hardships. The high prevalence of poverty in areas where there is rampant unemployment or where only one parent works  have high probabilities of suffering the devastating effects of poverty. Low remuneration that such parents receive does not provide sufficient resources to ensure that the economic social and health needs of a child are satisfied. Such problems arise from the fact that children living in low income families are often stressed when they feel that their parents are hassled with matters related to their health and economic well being (Arrighi & Maume, 2007).

  • Statistics        

A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) indicates that millions of children in urban and rural areas around the world are experiencing extreme poverty levels. The report recommended that there was need for children to be given opportunities that will enable them have easy access to basic necessities such as food, health services and education (Vespa, 2013). The State of the World’s Children 2012 indicate that despite the development that numerous countries, especially the US and other developed countries, have witnessed in the past few years, many children in urban centres are at a high risk of contracting diseases as a result of the environment which they live in (Vespa, 2013). Low levels of education deprive children of knowledge that is considered essential in understanding the operations of different sectors of their economies as well as provide the necessary skills that are essential in understanding their environment.

  • Ideas.

When children are denied access to health and education facilities there are high chances that they will face numerous challenges which may become impediments to their overall development. High poverty levels can be said to be the main cause of overcrowding in cities and the eventual development of low life areas of residence. Diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea are frequent in such due to the existence of unhygienic conditions. The two diseases are known killer infections among children in many developed and developing countries. Despite the presence of an overwhelming presence of research on vaccines, informal settlements and societies where there is a large population, children are increasingly vulnerable to infections and this increases the likelihood of high child mortality rates (Vespa, 2013).

  • Purpose of study

This paper aims at providing an in-depth study of the economic and health challenges that children living in poverty areas experience in the United States. This will include an understanding of different reports from different bodies on the relationship between poverty, education levels and health. In addition, the impact of poverty on the health and economic well being of children will also form the subject of this paper.

  1. Problem statement

The definition of poverty varies across different sectors of the society. However it is agreeable that whenever children and their families are said to be experiencing high poverty levels, they are said to be unable to achieve a minimum decent living standard that can allow them to be full participants in the mainstream activities of the society. 

  1. Supporting idea 1

Stakeholders need to ask themselves questions about the trends in poverty in America? The main causes of poverty in America? What are the economic hardships that poor children encounter? What are the health related hardships that children living in poverty experience? These questions form an integral part in understanding poverty situation not only in the United States but also on the global platform. Furthermore, these questions also provide prompts solution to these hardships.

  1. Discussion

According to the 2012 report by the National Centre for Children in Poverty (NCCP), about 20% of children in the United States live in families whose income fall below that of the Federal poverty level, which stands at $23, 550 every year for a family of four. This report further indicated that families require about double the income level set by the federal government as a way of ensuring that all basic expenses are covered. If the need for double income is to be considered as the standard of poverty measure then about 44% of children would be living in low income families (Vespa, 2013).

  1. Supporting Idea 1

Most of the children that live in relatively poor families have parents who work in low wage employments, such parents also experience situations of unstable employments and this subjects their families to in challenging situations that make them struggle to make ends meet. Such poverty levels can impede children’s ability to learn hence contribution to the social, emotional and behavioural problems that such children face. Adverse poverty levels in America can also be said to the main reason for an increase in health risks and subsequent mental health problems (Vespa, 2013).

  • Supporting Idea 1

There is however increased risks for children who experience persistency in poverty levels since they lack motivational factors that can inspire them, out of their conditions. For such children there exists a high possibility that they will not improve their low living standards. Poverty is therefore a single greatest threat to the welfare of any child. This is attributable to poor work policies that are instituted by the state governments. More exploitative and less motivating laws by these governments can be said to be hindrances to the opportunities available for better wages in employment opportunities. This also involves opportunities for job creation (Vespa, 2013).

  1. Economic hardships of children living in poverty

A report by the Education Department in the University of California found the existence of a strong relationship between poverty and low performance in education. The report accentuates that children from low income families are more likely to experience challenges in their academic life compared to those from high income families. In terms of special education, the report observed that children from relatively wealthy families often access high quality schools. Academic difficulties arise from numerous environmental factors that are a characteristic of the conditions that improvised children face (Thompson, 2013). Poverty stricken families often struggle with drug and alcohol problems.

  1. Supporting Idea 1

When parents’ suffer from such problems they are less likely to be involved in their children’s education and this can cause academic complications. The stress of poverty can also obstruct a child’s ability to learn. This is especially so when children attend to school activities in hunger or when suffering from nutritional deficits (Thompson, 2013).

  1. Example 1

According to the Journal of Special Education, children from racial minorities, who form a large part of those living in poverty, are most likely to be placed in special education programs since they tend to have learning disabilities and developmental delays. This is due to poor nutritional care, poor environmental condition which exposes them to dangerous chemicals that hamper learning and results in the development of learning disabilities.

  • Example 2

Special programs are supposed to improve a child’s ability to grasp academic concepts. However, poor areas have low quality schools whose programs tend to be insufficient and sometimes non-existent. Limited access to proper education aggravates poverty conditions increasing the possibility of education disability (Thompson, 2013).

  • Health hardships of children living in poverty

According to a health report by UNICEF, poor nutrition contributes to about 25% of deaths, internationally, of children under the age of 5. Furthermore, those who are relatively well fed to ensure that their bodies have sufficient energy for all their daily activities have a high possibility of suffering the risk of hidden hunger resulting from micronutrient undernourishment. This report makes poverty a major risk factor in the overall health of child (Vespa, 2013).

  1. Supporting Idea 1

Environmental injustice is characterized by a growing affinity of the poverty stricken members of the society to be more exposed to environmental risks. This is associated to the fact that children living in poverty are more likely to live in poor housing facilities and more risky environment. Such an environment is likely to be dominated by polluting industries and other unhealthy activities such as dumpsites that congregate poor areas. Children living in such conditions are more likely to suffer from respiratory challenges among other health problems (Thompson, 2013).

  • Supporting Ideas 2

Poverty areas are more likely to be related associated with harmful lifestyles and behaviour. These include drug and substance abuse. Poverty makes it difficult for such societies to obtain necessary treatment due to limited resources and remoteness from the urban and developed areas. Poverty can therefore be said to be representing complex and interconnected risks that affect not only the life of the community but also that of the children in such environments (Vespa, 2013).

  • Conclusion
  • Restatement of the thesis

When children live in families that are unable to attain a minimum standard of living, then such children can be said to be living in poverty. Poverty is a contributing factor both education and health hardships that children face. The prevalence of these hardships are heavily reliant on among other things the economic status of parents. Most poor families are characterized by instances of drug and substance abuse.

  • Outlook for the future

When parents suffer from such addictions there are less involved in a child’s education and as a result such a child may experience academic challenges. Most poverty stricken families live in environments that are relatively unhealthy for human life. The prevailing conditions in such surroundings make children more susceptible to health problems which hinder the overall growth and development stages of such children.


Arrighi, B. A., & Maume, D. J. (2007). Child poverty in America today. Westport, Conn:


Thompson, V, (2013). Relationship between Poverty and Special Education

Placement.i Global Post.

Vespa, J. (2013). America’s Families and Living arrangements: 2012- Census. United States

Census Bureau