Effects of Inner-City Poverty on Youth Essay

The Effects of Growing Up In Urban High-Poverty Areas on Youth With the rising poverty levels in today’s society, the amount of youth that has been affected by poverty has increased substantially, rising more than fifty percent in the last twenty years. Studies show that there are at least nine million kids living in high-poverty areas of the United States. Children raised in poverty have no choice, but are forced to view the American dream in a very grim manner. For children and young kids growing up in high poverty areas drugs, violence, and hunger are usually viewed on an everyday basis and become their only reality.

Numerous aspects of poverty all come together to lead to a change in prospect and a difference in the futures of many youth born into a cycle with no choice. There are many negative effects of growing up in a high poverty area. Violence is a reality for youth that grow up in inner-city poverty. New studies have shown that children growing up in these areas are actually experiencing psychological changes due to violence and other effects of poverty due to the over stimulation of their frontal lobe.

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The frontal lobe controls instincts, reactions to emotional stimulus, and is the primary instrument in child processing. As the brain is overstimulated by excess violence there is proof that it begins to adapt and change. This change causes children in these areas to become more violent and see violent behavior as something that is common to them. Studies show that they begin to become Halbritter 2 indifferent and numb to witnessing violent acts overtime. In children, this biological adaptation to violence is the balance that enables a child to survive and is a big cause for concern.

A mindset prone to violence extends poverty and delays rational mature thought processes. This helps us to understand why these youth are less likely to succeed in school, jobs, or other important aspects of growing up, working themselves out of poverty, and becoming self-sustaining adults. As poverty increases it directly affects the increase in crime, as it is often seen as only option to obtain money. Money legally obtained is usually reinvested in illegal activities such as drug dealing in these areas which furthers the chronic joblessness.

This increases the risk of crime even more because most of these activities are controlled by gang and crime organizations fueling drug habits these groups thrive by capitalizing on the suffering and poverty of the surrounding areas. With these gang members and drug dealers usually the only role models for the youth in these areas to look up to many of them end up basing their lives and trying to live up to the standard of very unsavory street figures. This causes youth to believe that the only way to obtain quick financial gain is through dangerous illegal activities.

Poverty threatens a wide range of child development; most affected is academic achievements and performance in school. Various studies performed show that poverty in the family directly influences a decrease in IQ in children. It affects younger kids causing them to have a harder time picking up verbal skills and learning to talk. As kids grow older it affects their achievement scores on tests and causes them to have a harder time reaching educational milestones. This is mostly due to the added stress of the surrounding environment, the daily Halbritter 3 truggles, and the lack of education of the people who surround them on an everyday basis. The problems that kids in these areas face causes them to have a lack of interest in school and since they only see what is around them most do not realize the doors that a decent education can open for them. This also gases poverty continuing the cycle of cumulative poverty and the hopelessness it seems to inflict on those involved and raised in areas where this is prevalent.

The effects of growing up in inner-city poverty are very negative. Not only does it affect them socially, it also affects them physically literally changing their brains to make them become more violent. The youth in these areas have drastically less chances of succeeding in life. Realistically it seems clear that there are no positive effects that come from growing up in these areas and yet there prevalence continues to increase markedly every year.

With poverty stimulating poverty it seems as though this trend will continue to do nothing but surge and it seems all we can do is pray and do our best to help the youth who face this uninviting truth. It is a cycle feeding itself with all aspects leading to the consistent rise of below average income communities. It does not seem without further budgeting or intervention via government programs and increases in school funding and job opportunity that it is a cycle which has the chance of ever breaking itself.

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