Poverty can be defined in many ways, but one way of defining family poverty is as the inability to earn a sufficient wage to participate in mainstream society. Being economically disadvantaged has a pervasive impact on all aspects of family life. Scholars have suggested that having low socioeconomic status may be one of the most underrecognized hardships that families face. There are few areas of a child’s life or an adult’s life that are not impacted when there are insufficient resources to meet basic needs. This entry first discusses the level of poverty, risk factors for poverty, and effects of poverty in the United States. It then discusses the intersection of poverty and contextual factors (e.g., gender and whether one lives in an urban or ...

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