Poverty is the pronounced deprivation of well-being. It is notbeing able to satisfy ones basic needs because onepossesses insufficient money to buy services or lacks theaccess to services.Absolute poverty refers to the state of severe deprivationof basic human needs, which commonly includesfood, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter, healthcare,education and information.Relative poverty refers to as being below some relativeincome threshold, where this threshold differs for eachsociety or country. One may be relatively poor, without beingin the state of absolute poverty; relative poverty is oftenconsidered as an indirect measure of income inequality.
There are many theories theorists had came up with tothe cause of poverty. Some theorists have accused thepoor of having little concern for the future andpreferring to “live for the moment”; others have accusedthem of engaging in self-defeating behaviour. Still othertheorists have characterized the poor as fatalists,resigning themselves to a culture of poverty in whichnothing can be done to change their economicoutcomes. In this culture of poverty—which passes fromgeneration to generation—the poor feel negative,inferior, passive, hopeless, and powerless.
The effects of poverty are serious. Children who grow up in povertysuffer more persistent, frequent, and severe health problems thanchildren who grow up under better financial circumstances.Many infants who were born in families originally suffering frompoverty have a low birth weight, which is related to manypreventable mental and physical disabilities. Not only are these poorinfants more vulnerable to diseases and illnesses, they have higherpossibility of dying before their first birthday.Children raised in poverty tend to miss school more often because ofillness. These children also have a higher records of accidents thanothers, due to the great possibility of having impaired vision andhearing, iron deficiency anaemia, and higher levels of lead level in theblood, which can impair brain functions.
Levels of stress in the family have also been shown toincrease with accordance to economic circumstances.Studies during economic recessions show that job lossand subsequent poverty are associated with violence infamilies, including child and elder abuse. Poor familiesexperience more stress than middle-class families.Besides financial uncertainty, these families are alsomore likely to be exposed to series of negative eventsand “bad luck”, including illness, depression, eviction,job loss, criminal victimisation and family death. Parentswho experience hard economic times may becomeexcessively strict and erratic, issuing demands backedby insults, threats, and corporal punishment.
The cycle of poverty has been defined as a phenomenon where poorfamilies become trapped in poverty for at least three generations. Incalculations of expected generation length and ancestor lifespan,the lower median age of parents in these families is offset by theshorter lifespans in many of these groups.Such families have either limited or no resources. There are manydisadvantages that collectively work in a circular process making itvirtually impossible for individuals to break the cycle. This occurswhen poor people do not have the resources necessary to get out ofpoverty, such as financial capital, education, or connections. In otherwords, poverty-stricken individuals experience disadvantages as aresult of their poverty, which in turn increases their poverty. Thiswould mean that the poor remain poor throughout their lives. Thiscycle has also been referred to as a "pattern" of behaviours andsituations which cannot easily be changed.
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