The Effects of Chronic Poverty on Adolescent Developmental Outcomes

Rebekah Chu, University at Albany
Craig Rivera, Niagara University'Department of Criminal

Developmental literature posits that position in social structure has implications, both direct and indirect, for various developmental processes and outcomes. This paper will examine the effects of experiencing persistent family poverty on various developmental outcomes in adolescence. These outcomes will include depression, school dropout, unemployment, teen parenthood, and crime (e.g., serious delinquency, drug sales, and number of arrests), and will be measured when the subjects were 16-17. Chronic poverty will be measured as the amount of time a family experienced at least two of the following indicators: welfare dependence, income below the poverty line, or unemployment. It is hypothesized that persistent family poverty will have severe negative consequences for adolescent outcomes. Data from the Rochester Youth Development Study (RYDS) will be used. The RYDS is a longitudinal study designed to enhance our understanding of the development of delinquency, violence, and drug use among urban youth.

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Updated 05/20/2006