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Generational Poverty

The child gives the man a piece of rye bread._.jpg

What is intergenerational transmission of poverty (IGT)?

"Intergenerational transmission of poverty refers to two or more successive generations of a family living in poverty. The intergenerational transmission of poverty includes financial, material, and environmental assets, human capital and attitudes, culture, and other knowledge or traditions."

- Definition from The Borgen Project

Effects of generational poverty

 Low-income families are more likely to live in neighborhoods with lower quality schools, lower quality infrastructure, and compromised safety.  

The quality of local resources may be particularly important to low income families because they are more dependent on public education, public transportation, local health clinics, and social services for the essentials of daily living. 

Economic stress has negative effects on both men and women, contributing to increases in mental health problems and marital problems. Research finds that family economic stress is associated with depression and anxiety in parents, higher levels of marital conflict, and less nurturing parenting. 

For children, these factors heighten the risk of conduct and other problems that impact subsequent educational attainment, employment, and their own parenting practices as these children grow up. Research is now able to document that these processes associated with the intergenerational transmission of poverty often parallel each other across generations.


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