Publication Date

Spring 2005


Based on her review of research concerning the millions of children and teens who live in poverty-stricken families in the United States, the writer seeks to identify the long-term effects of poverty in the adolescent years. In order to do this, many of the factors contributing to poverty are discussed. The parents' education, the overall decline in marriage, the absence of the father, single-parent households, structural causes, natural disasters, domestic violence, culture, and government policies are all factors which can contribute to poverty. In addition, poverty has many effects on children, such as lower educational achievement, greater likelihood of abuse, poor environment, and a variety of negative emotions. As children enter their adolescent years, they also often encounter potential substance abuse, violence, teen pregnancy, and STDs. Furthermore, teen pregnancy and connecting factors, such as the absence of the father and drug abuse, contribute to poverty. Sadly, the effects of teen pregnancy are long lasting in many cases, resulting in a cycle of poverty. Lastly, prevention options and a biblical perspective on poverty are discussed.