This book presents a comprehensive description of child, family, and community-level forces that modify the outcomes of youngsters experiencing conditions of poverty. Integrating a vast and complex array of research findings, the author elucidates salient underlying mechanisms via which poverty-related factors can affect poor children’s social and emotional development. In cohesive closing discussions, findings regarding major risk and protective forces are synthesized while delineating major directions for future work in research and theory development, teaching, and interventions and social policy. This timely and thorough volume is essential reading for students, researchers, and educators, as well as clinicians and policymakers concerned with understanding and promoting the positive development of children contending with family poverty.

Exosystemic Influences

Exosystemic influences

Mr. Cabrera landed in Pasadena at the age of 10, short and skinny and intimidated. By 13, quick on his feet and agile with his fists, he had dropped out of middle school to devote himself to fighting.

His mother was very upset, but he told her it was the only way to survive in their neighborhood. The choice was not whether to join a gang but which one, he said.

He elected Mara Salvatrucha, a gang formed by Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles that is now pan-Hispanic…. After his initiation, which was a severe beating, he had MS tattooed on his chest.

“MS totally gave me a feel of belonging,” he said, demonstrating the hand signs that serve as the gang greeting.

By 16, he ...

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