Relationships between poverty and violence

Relationships between poverty and violence

A poor family set up has a higher rate of labor participation in order to maintain family incomes. However, it creates a lot of stress for families and difficulties in supervising their children. In addition, the cumulative effect of social economic status of families guarantees that the poor and low-income children arrive adulthood engaging in precarious behaviors and lower educational levels than their counterpart from wealthy families does. Poverty is associated with drug activity and violence. Furthermore, factors such as unemployment, low income and education levels may play a significant effect on the crime rates.

 Low-income families have enormous impacts on the children outcomes. Economic difficulties may reduce the emotional wellbeing of the parents, which has an indirect and direct influence upon their children (McLyod, 1998). Children growing up in families with economic difficulties may not be well supervised, therefore, gain independence earlier in life. If children are not supervised, they are more likely to smoke cigarettes, use drug, and engage in risky activities. Research indicates that children from low-income families have been associated with early sexual activities, early pregnancies, cigarette smoking, and use of drugs (McLyod, 1998).

Moreover, family income affects the features of neighborhoods in which the children will grow up.  Research indicates that violence is known to occur in socio-economically deprived and disordered neighborhoods (Ellen and Turner, 1997). These factors include population density, percentage of people from various ethnic groups and unemployment. Various factors relate to a place social economic status. Neighborhoods with higher poverty levels have a lower accessibility of high quality private and public services including community centers, health centers, parks preschools, as well as useful social networks compared with low poverty neighborhood. In addition, these areas are more likely to be physically deteriorated and have high crime rate, street violence, greater usage of drugs, and more negative peer influences. Areas associated with high levels of juvenile violence are associated with lack of infrastructural development and high residential mobility. In other words, these features of high poverty may have harmful consequences for the academic achievement, violence behaviors of children and adolescents.

Finally, frequent changes in population as a result transition from one place to another; the individual economic status may lead in lack of community regulation. Therefore, there is an increased opportunity to commit a crime in such areas. Moreover, factors associated with poor interaction between the community and children allow the children out in the streets unsupervised (McLyod, 1998). This can explain why it is hard to control children leading to violence.  The number of children allowed out at night in high crime areas is greater than low crime prone areas.


 The consequences of low socioeconomic status in childhood are felt throughout their lives. Low-income results to economic difficulties, thereby parents are forced to spend more time on their work and less time in supervising the children. In addition, poor families live in low-level neighborhoods with a high population density. These neighborhoods have high rates of drug usage; drinking alcohol that play a paramount role in crime rates.  Finally, poor families move from one place to another as they look for ways to support their families. This transition leads to lack of supervision control.


Ellen, G., and Turner, A. (1997). Does Neighborhood Matter? Housing Policy Debate, 8(4) 833-66.

McLoyd, C. (1998). Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Child Development. American Psychologist, 53, 2:185-204.

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