Researchers from Cornell University (CU) claim that there is a higher incident of child abuse among the poor, and those rates rise and fall as the nation’s income inequality does.
John Eckenrode, lead author of the study and professor of human development at CU explained: “Certainly, poor counties with general, overall poverty have significant problems with child abuse.”
Eckenrode pointed out the team was “interested in geographic areas with wide variations in income”; focusing on suburban and inner cities.
This study was based on data provided by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) on child abuse and neglect from 2005 to 2009.
This information is collected over more than 3,000 counties.
The team asserts that their findings show how the gap between rich and poor play out in the real world.
According to the study societies that enjoy income and otherwise total equality breed health, joy and happiness while societies that are based on upper and lower classes breed various forms of abuse.
Since physical, sexual and verbal abuse run rampant in unequal societies, the researchers conclude that there must be a focused motivation toward making everything equal for all.
While the researchers admit that their data is not all-encompassing and may be flawed, they assert that “prolonged exposure to abuse and neglect, in tandem with the detrimental effects naturally induced by poverty, often make for a lifelong battle that, unfortunately, is often fought uphill.”
The study reads: “Child maltreatment is a toxic stressor in the lives of children that may result in childhood mortality and morbidities and have lifelong effects on leading causes of death in adults. This is in addition to long-term effects on mental health, substance use, risky sexual behavior and criminal behavior … increased rates of unemployment, poverty, and Medicaid use in adulthood.”
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (ACF) released a study recently concerning the ability of low-income fourth grade student’s to read. The findings show that there is an obvious deficiency in these children’s capability to read and comprehend.
The gap follows income and status of the families as higher-income students showed a proficiency in reading.
The report states: “Unfortunately, by the time they are 8 years old, many children — especially those living in low-income families — have not met the developmental milestones that are essential for future success in school and in life. This gap often starts early as a result of health problems at birth, contributing to lags in language and social-emotional skill development in early childhood.”
The researchers wrote: “Low-income children are also more likely to miss out on high-quality early learning experiences, which can help mitigate these delays. Once they reach the early grades, children in economically fragile families often attend schools that lack high-quality teaching and learning environments. They also face family-related stressors, such as parental job loss and housing insecurity, which contribute to chronic absence from school.”