Poverty impacts the experiences of individuals in young, and middle adulthood in many ways. The young are vulnerable, and recognize the appearance of poverty early on in their lives. Usually, school aged children begin to notice if they have adequate clothing like other children, they learn, and talk about their parents occupations, begin to know what parts of town their friends live in, and begin to compare the things that they have, to the things that others have.
Poverty also usually impacts the experiences of the young because, it exposes them to inadequate education, health issues such as led poisoning due to led based painted homes in low income neighborhoods, asthma from pollution, and breathing problems. “Poverty also leads to despair, low self-esteem, and stunting of physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth”, (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016 p. 564). Although; those individuals in middle adulthood are not as vulnerable as the young, poverty still impacts their experiences. Middle adulthood individuals usually suffer from illnesses due a poor diet and lack of nutritional foods. They also suffer from inadequate healthcare, lower paying jobs, lack of education, and have a “high susceptibility to emotional disturbances, aalcoholism’s, and victimization by criminals as well as a shorter life expectancy, “Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016 p. 564).
I personally think that poverty is the result of both cultural, and individual characteristics because, some people come from generations of poverty.”The individual who grows up in this culture has a strong feeling of fatalism, helplessness, dependence and inferiority; a strong present-time orientation with relatively little disposition to defer gratification, and plan for the future and a high tolerance for psychological pathology of all kinds”, (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016 p. 568). This has become not only part of their culture but, the norm for their circumstances and way of living. These generations of people have lived on government assistance, lack education, and have lived in low income housing for years. On the other hand, some individuals grow up wealthy, and due to poor choices they end up in poverty. One of the major choices that causes individuals to become poverty stricken is substance abuse. However; their are also other things that cause individuals to become apart of poverty, and those things include mental illness, and layoffs.
Both aspects of this theory would be suitable for my practice because, I want to assure individuals from both cultural, and individual characteristics of the poverty spectrum to look for outlets that will break the cycle of poverty. As a social worker my job is to help my clients find jobs that will help them out of poverty, find adequate housing, places that help furnish clothing for children and families, and food banks. I would also encourage those that are mentally ill to get the proper medications that tthey need, as well proper housing. The only aspects that I find problematic interms fo my knowledge of social work practice is that, some individuals dont see a problem with their situations. As i mentioned earlier, some families see poverty as the norm. And as far as those mentally ill clients, some refuse to get help because, they are afraid they will be institutionalized. So they continue to live in poverty.
Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston MA:Cengage Learning.