Poverty and Family Development

Family poverty may be simply defined as the financial incapability to meet the family’s basic physical needs. This simplistic definition belies its complicated and pervasive nature, as poverty is often felt in every part of family life including material, social, and emotional aspects. When finances are so strictly limited, freedom and power are thwarted in many domains of family life. Leisure time may be nonexistent, anxiety over bills is constant, and planning for the future a near impossibility. These challenges are complicated by the stigma of poverty in the United States. People living in poverty may be perceived as lazy, defective, or otherwise inferior. The daily struggle to survive alongside social oppression can harm families in significant ways. For some families, poor becomes a way ...

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