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Essay Available:
2 pages/≈550 words
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Social Sciences
Reaction Paper
English (U.S.)
MS Word
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Psychology According to the article by Greg J Duncan (Reaction Paper Sample)


After reading the article you should tell if you agree, or disagree with the author and why?


Family Poverty, Welfare Reform, and Child Development
Our review of research suggests that family poverty1 has selective effects on child development. Most important for policy are indications that deep or persistent poverty e^rly in childhood affects adversely the ability and achievement of children. Although the 1996 welfarevreforms have spurred many welfare-to-work transitions, their time limits and. especially, sanctions are likely to deepen poverty arrjong some families. We suggest ways policies might be aimed al preventing either economic deprivation itself or its effects,
Greg J. Duncan and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
In 1997, despite an unprecedented period of macroeconomic prosperity, some 13.4 million children in the United States (19.2% of all children) were poor (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1999). This "official" poverty count is based on a Census Bureau comparison of total family income with a poverty threshold that varies by family size. Expressed in 1997 dollars, the respective poverty thresholds for families with three and four persons were roughly $13,000 and $16,500. Individuals living in families with total cash incomes below these thresholds were counted as poor.
This article summarizes what we have learned about the likely consequences of these high rates of poverty on the development of children and on the life chances of children when they become adults. A fortunate legacy of the war on poverty was the initiation of what has become a series of large-scale national survey studies of child development (Brooks-Gunn, Brown, Duncan, & Moore, 1995; Brooks-Gunn, Phelps, & Elder, 1991). These studies provide information on both family poverty status, measured during childhood, and outcomes for the children, measured during childhood as well as adulthood. Thus, they provide a basis for evaluating how our high rates of child poverty likely impact development.
The future extent and effects of poverty among children will depend critically on the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which was signed by President Clinton on August 22, 1996. Ending six decades of guaranteed government aid for economically deprived children, this law eliminated the open-ended federal entitlement program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in faVor of providing block grants to states to be used for time-limited cash assistance replacement programs (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF). This legislation has already spurred welfare-to-work transitions among a substantial number of recipients (U.S. Council of Economic Advisors, 1999). Just as certain, however, is an increase in the depth of poverty among some of the families in which mothers are unable to make suc-
cessful transitions to full-time work. We include in our article an evaluation of its likely effect on poor children in the coming decade.


Childhood is a crucial stage in a person’s life, and it plays a big part in the general development of an individual. However, there are various factors that influence the general childhood experience and development. According to the article by Greg J Duncan and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, it is clear that the family poverty remains as one of the main factor that hinder child development. This discussion aims at examining the above mentioned article from a broad perspective and coming up with the final judgment on the subject matter.
As noted through the article, poverty causes families to have poor living standards, and this is no exception to the quality of their household. Most poor families have little cash to spend on other things apart from food and shelter (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, n.d). This means that such families lack enough money to invest in indoor materials that contribute to the child’s education. This is contrary to the well of families that purchase learning materials for their children. Such learning materials range from reading charts, story books, scrabble and even modelling sets. Research has found that these childhood activities increase a child’s mental development translating into good performance in school, as opposed to those without access to such activities.
The other effect is associated with the neighborhood where the family resides. It is clear based on research that ...
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