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March 2017

Preventing the Negative Effects of Poverty on Child Development: Evidence-Based Policies and Solutions

Left to right: Bruce Lesley, Dr. Ben Gibbs, Dr. Ron Prinz

On March 1, 2017 the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives, First Focus and the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Pennsylvania State University co-hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts' perspectives on child and intergenerational poverty. 

The United States has the second highest child poverty rate among 35 industrialized nations and children in the U.S. are 69 percent more likely to live in poverty than adults. The effects of poverty on child development range from physical health problems to difficulties in school, inattention, conduct problems, and social rejection.  Later in adolescence, impoverished children are more likely to fail academically, drop out, become pregnant, exhibit aggression, and form unhealthy peer relationships. Given these consequences, it is perhaps not surprising that child poverty costs the U.S. approximately $672 billion a year. Although economic and behavioral prevention strategies cannot eliminate all negative effects, they can reduce their severity and improve child development, as well as reduce costs to society. And importantly, there is evidence that they can eventually increase economic security by improving employability and relationships.

Our briefing speakers provided an overview of this expansive problem and then covered interventions, strategies, and policies to prevent or reduce childhood poverty. This session should be of value to legislators/staffers, practitioners, national and community organizations, and funders. 

Deborah Stein, J.D. 

Network Director, Partnership for America's Children

With more than 30 years of experience in policy analysis and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable children and their families, Deborah Stein is a nationally recognized child advocate and strategic communications expert who is passionate about improving children’s lives through better public more

Dr. Ron Prinz

Distinguished Professor, Parenting & Family Research Center, University of South Carolina

Poverty compromises the ability of children to reach developmental milestones. Evidence-based interventions and policies have been shown to reduce the persistence and impact of poverty, particularly with respect to detrimental effects on child development

Dr. Ben Gibbs 

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Brigham Young University

Situational vs. intergenerational poverty: Why that distinction mattered in establishing best practice legislation in Utah, modeled by others.

Bruce Lesley 

President, First Focus

The advocacy work of CPAG, including evidence-based policy and legislation geared to cutting childhood poverty by 50% in ten years. 

Q&A Session

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