4 responses to “How Poverty Passes from Generation to Generation”

  1. Weekly Round-Up: Cows, Pigs & Chickens, Oh My! — Almost Frugal- a frugal blog

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  2. The Frugal New Yorker

    Actually, while the study does not say that poor kids are stupider, The Economist seems to be making that conclusion–just based off of the quote you included.

    It looks like the study is saying that stress affects kids’ performance in school, and then it asserts that poor kids suffer greater stress on average. First of all, that’s a different conclusion than what The Economist drew from it. Second, it’s important to know WHAT kind of stresses the study based its analysis on. That information is crucial to understanding what’s really being said here!

  3. hailey

    “…they are stupider. It is not surprising that they do less well at school, end up poor as adults and often visit the same circumstances on their own children.”

    How come we were poor growing up, had less access to resources, always bombarded with stress from lack of income and with poor undergraduate parents but all 8 (children of my parents) finished in U.P. through 8 different scholarships (read: needed to maintain grades to get stipends/free tuition)?

  4. Celine

    @ hailey: Like all statistical studies, it’s not a blanket statement or a law. There will always be exceptions. My partner is also such an exception, since she also grew up poor (having only sugar and rice for meals). Yet she also got into UP under a scholarship. What made the difference were her parents who really valued education and helped her develop learning as a habit. Academic success depends on multiple factors. The study merely says that stress limits the working memory of children (the article isn’t even that specific on the kind of stress). This limitation *might* prevent them from solving problems faster and better than their less stressed peers. Like I said in the last 2 paragraphs of my post, it’s possible for an individual to overcome generational poverty, it might just be more difficult.

    @FrugalNewYorker: Since I only had access to the article about the study and not the paper itself, I can only point to the social stresses that were pointed out in the article. I agree that many factors were lacking, including the educational attainment and habits of the children (they only factored in the educational attainment of the mother).

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