Social Aspects of American Children Being Born in Poverty Essay

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"More and more children are in greater and greater trouble" -James Garbarino
This simple statement, made by James Garbarino in his book Raising Children in a Socially Toxic Environment, concisely and appropriately describes the current state of children and youth in America. Garbarino suggests that children today are being brought up in a socially toxic environment where violence, divorce, racism, addiction, educational failure, poor physical health, and adult emotional problems are just a few of the "toxic" social forces converging on children, robbing them of their innocence and dignity. Moreover, he argues, children who are faced with economic distress and poverty are particularly vulnerable. For them the risks are compounded, as
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One successful means of compromise was offered by Urie Bronfenbrenner in 1979, when he introduced the "Ecological Model" of child development. His model, which looks like a bulls-eye, has the child and his or her individual characteristics at its center. The first "ring" around the child is the microsystem, consisting of the child's immediate surroundings. The next "ring" is the mesosystem, a series of connection between elements of the microsystem. The third "ring" is the exosystem, containing the people and institutions that affect the child indirectly. The final "ring" is the macrosystem, composed of the attitudes and ideologies of society as a whole. In the model all of the layers surrounding the child interact both with each other and with the child. Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of child development can serve as an effective framework for understanding the impact of health care, homelessness, and violence on children living in poverty, and it can guide for our attempts to improve conditions for children and youth in America.
At the level of the microsystem, quality health care is seen as essential to a child's physical and mental development. According to Judith A. Chafel, "poor children are much more likely than children who aren't poor to experience low birth weight, poor nutrition and growth, lack of immunization, poisonings and lead intoxication, risk of injury, and

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