You will prepare and submit a term paper on Exam 2: Poverty, Neighborhoods, Health and Schools. Your paper should be a minimum of 1000 words in length. 2. Personnel/ structural aspects: This involves factors like changes in the family structure that may arise due to divorce or death of one parent. In a school setting it includes staffing and resource matters. 3. Social climate of the context: This involves associational networks, warmth, cohesiveness and support that one may gain from their setting. 4. Connections between systems: This involves factors like how close parents may feel connected to their children’s school. These dimensions, within each of the settings mentioned earlier, exert their influence on the outcomes of individuals especially children and therefore they also represent the area of intervention in their lives. Two of these dimensions have been examined in detail below: Monetary Issues Family Setting Within a family setting, monetary issues can be protective or risky as it influences the functioning of the family, especially that of the children. Economic hardship can result in malnutrition resulting in neonatal damage and children with low birth weights. In this environment of poverty, there is a greater likelihood for childhood illnesses to go untreated. Child abuse and exposure to violence and accidents has also been found to be higher in these settings. Economic hardships are also known to increase stress levels in parents, thereby affecting their emotional state, which in turn is reflected in their behaviors, emotions and cognitions towards their children (Conger et al., 1992). Poverty is also a risk factor for school drop outs among children and unemployment among adults. These issues are magnified when we consider families of minority groups which face several other challenges like immigration, racial and ethnic disparities and disruption in addition to poverty (Moore et. al., 2009). School Setting Within a school setting, monetary issues can be protective or risky as it influences the functioning of the school and can act as a deciding factor as to whether a school is successful in imparting education to its pupils or not. Although the cost that the school incurs per pupil is not predictive of the outcome, it certainly is important. Adequate staffing and presence of adequate teaching resources in schools also depends on the funds available and is an important factor in the overall success of the school which may be reflected in percentage of children graduating, absenteeism among students and teachers and ability to address children with special needs or learning disabilities. Studies have revealed that a minimum level of funding for schools is important for it to function efficiently. However beyond that, the funding does not appear to have much effect. When school resources are limited, especially in minority rural schools, the credential and salaries of teachers were found to be related to student achievement. Personnel/ Structural Aspects Family Setting Within a family setting, the structural aspects of the presence or absence of caregivers is of critical importance, especially with respect to children. Parents, siblings and caregivers are involved in a complex, multi-layers interaction that forms the structural environment in which a child grows. These interactions play an important role in the outcomes.
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