September 23, 2011
Moms’ educational attainment key to generational poverty
“The most important correlation between generational or intergenerational poverty is the mother’s educational attainment,” Kristen Cox, executive director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services, told a legislative committee Wednesday.
The department, along with the University of Utah’s Social Research Institute, made that determination after reviewing state public assistance records going back to 1982.
Researchers determined that 34 percent of people ages 21 to 39 who presently receive public assistance in Utah were on public assistance as children, Cox told the Utah Legislature’s Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Interim Committee.
Moreover, 47 percent of adults on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF were on TANF as kids, said Cox. People who receive TANF assistance are among the state’s poorest, she said.
“You definitely see some repetition between people who were on public assistance as kids,” Cox said.
Intergenerational poverty is generally defined as two or more generations living in poverty, said Mary Beth Vogel-Ferguson, research assistant professor in the U.’s College of Social Work.
“Research tells us that children born into poverty are more likely to be more born premature, of low birth weight, spend more time in lower quality day cares, lack access to basic health care, including dental assistance affecting their health outcomes for the life of a child,” Vogel-Ferguson said. More…Posted by: psilberman