Chapter 1: Introduction Next Chapter

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Some reservation families are so poor, living in isolated enclaves like Upper Cut Meat and He Dog, that on food-stamp day, they can obtain transportation to the nearest supermarket only by paying for it with some of the milk and bread that they intended to feed their children.

—Belluck, 1997, New York Times, September 9, p. A1.

Poor children are affected by an array of powerful risk and protective influences, many of which are unique to the life circumstance of socioeconomic deprivation. Increasing recognition of such influences has led to growing exhortations, in the social sciences, for their careful consideration in theory development, empirical research, interventions, and social policies. The goal within this volume is to review and synthesize what three decades of empirical research has ...

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