The link between family structure and poverty

 

By Nicole M King, MercatorNet

 

The News Story – Project to improve poor children’s intellect led to better health, data shows

 

 

The New York Times recently highlighted a studythat seems to show promising results for a specialized-care program for children born into poverty.In 1972, researchers in North Carolina began tracking two groups of babies from poor families. In one group, “the children were given full-time day care up to age 5 that included most of their daily meals, talking, games and other stimulating activities.” The other group received baby formula, but no other form of interaction. The full study was published in Science on Thursday of last week. “By age 30,” reports the Times, “those in the group given special care were four times as likely to have graduated from college.” In addition, however, both men and women in the treatment group had better health outcomes, including lower rates of hypertension and risk factors for heart disease, better nutritional habits, and lower rates of diabetes and stroke. Surprised by the physical health benefits and thrilled about potential outcomes for children born into poverty, the researchers are currently looking into how the cost of the program ($16,000 per child, per year, in 2010 dollars) compares with the cost of medical care were the children not enrolled.

While better outcomes for children born into poverty is undoubtedly a worthy goal, the glaring omission in this story is what places those children in poverty to begin with. Other research has demonstrated that we might better use that $16,000 per child, per year.

 

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.