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ERIC Number: ED510768
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
The Strengths of Poor Families. Research Brief. Publication #2009-26
Valladares, Sherylls; Moore, Kristin Anderson
Child Trends
In the minds of many people, poor families equal problem families. Indeed, that perception is not surprising, giving compelling evidence of the harsh effects that poverty can have on family life and child well-being. However, far less attention has been paid to the strengths that many poor families have and the characteristics that they may share with more affluent families. This "Research Brief" examines these issues. To explore the similarities and contrasts between poor and non-poor families, Child Trends analyzed data for more than 100,000 families from the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH). The authors' results suggest that, although poor families experience socioeconomic disadvantages, these families may be enriched by the strengths found in their family routines and relationships. Specifically, they found that poor families are at a disadvantage when it comes to receiving services and benefits and are more likely to express concerns about their neighborhoods. On the other hand, they found that poor families do not differ from more affluent families in many ways, such as in the closeness of their relationships and the frequency of outings together or attending religious services. Also, while parents in poor households express concerns about neighborhood safety in general, they are just as likely to report feeling that their child is safe at home or at school as are parents who are better off. Moreover, they found that families in poverty are somewhat more likely to eat meals together. (Contains 5 figures.)
Child Trends. 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 350, Washington, DC 20008. Tel: 202-572-6000; Fax: 202-362-8420; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Authoring Institution: Child Trends