Generational poverty is a very complex social issue. It generally occurs when the parents of children neglect to provide them with an education or resources necessary to break out of the cycle, instead often passing down their deprived childhoods to their children. This can manifest itself in multiple ways, such as lack of mental stimulation, physical care, financial support, etc. In some instances, it may be caused by poor access to education opportunities.
This article will document six common reasons why generational poverty continues within families and communities:
A Lack of Education
Many disadvantaged groups have limited access to educational facilities that are capable of closing the gap between them and more privileged members of society. Often this results in children of poor communities leaving school without qualifications and unable to get appropriate jobs. The cycle continues within these communities that perpetuate poverty due to the lack of education passed down from parents.
A Reliance on Social Benefits
Without employment or sufficient income, many families rely on state support to maintain their lifestyles. Often this results in an outdated welfare system that tends not to be flexible enough to meet people's changing needs while still encouraging people into work. This means that the poverty cycle is rarely broken since individuals' aspirations tend to be low due to their disadvantaged backgrounds.
Unemployment Rates Affect the Whole Family
Unemployed parents often pass down traits such as unemployment and illiteracy to their children. The parent's lack of education and skills such as time management and problem-solving tend to be passed down through the generations. These traits then influence how the children grow up, resulting in them becoming unemployed or underemployed.
This can often be because of both genetic reasons and social stressors. Scarcity of resources often results in ineffective treatment for those who need it to break this cycle. Mental illness has also affected relationships within family units, perpetuating poverty levels.
Physical And Mental Disabilities
People with disabilities are disproportionately likely to be unemployed. They may find it harder to access the same opportunities as those without disabilities. This often results in them being underemployed or unemployed, which perpetuates poverty levels within families. Employers must be educated about the positive impact of hiring people with disabilities so they can break away from social norms that limit their chances of employment.
Marriage rates have dramatically decreased over the last few decades, especially among low-income groups, resulting in a rise in family breakdowns. There was also an increased risk of developing emotional and behavioral problems for children living in single-parent households. This can be caused by a range of factors such as financial stressors, lack of support networks, or alternative lifestyles.
There are many reasons why generational poverty continues within families and communities. Lack of education, no employment opportunities, lack of public transportation, poor education within the home contribute to this circumstance. If you want to change this pattern of generational poverty, all of these factors must be addressed.
The first step would be to remove the legal barriers that have been put in place to discriminate against those who are already disadvantaged. For those who fall into generational poverty due to a lack of education, there should be a renewed commitment among all sectors to ensure that educational opportunities are available and affordable for every citizen regardless of income or social standing. It also means supporting children from low-income families with adequate nutrition and free medical care and ensuring parents an opportunity for employment with fair wages.