Risk Factors Associated With Poverty

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Poverty involves a complex array of risk factors that harmfully affects the population in a multitude of ways. The primary risk factors commonly associated with families living in poverty are emotional and social challenges, acute and chronic stressors, cognitive delays, and health related issues (Jensen, 2009). The culmination of risk factors make everyday life in poverty a struggle. Those risk factors are interwoven and comprehensive, often leading to devastatingly adverse effects. Jensen (2009) stated problems created by poverty precipitates another, which in turn interposes another, often leading to an endless inundation of debilitating consequences.
Vernon-Feagans and Cox (2013) have long known that poverty is associated with poor
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Cuthrell et al., (2010) reported that although children living in or near the poverty level attend school, their socio-economic background places them academically behind their peers as compared to those students from middle and upper class homes living outside the levels of poverty. Howland et al., (2006) contend that students residing in poverty will continually experience an increase in achievement gaps throughout the education process as a result of their literacy deficiencies, skill gaps, and lack of exposure to educationally stimulating events and activities.

Rural poverty in the United States has several distinct factors including a lasting affect for decades, persistent and intractable, and it is often spatially concentrated (Bradshaw, 2006). The rural poverty dilemma we face is more of a concern than merely lacking financial stability (Cuthrell et al., 2010). Rural families that suffer from low-income levels often endure physical isolation and inadequate transportation resources, public schools, basic public services, and limited accessibility to medical care (Bradshaw, 2006). In 1994, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (Rothenstein, 2008) estimated that the poverty rate reached its highest level in over ten years, increasing to 14.3%. The increase was particularly elevated among children. The
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