Blog Post 1- Broken families fueling the cycle of poverty

Throughout the United States, many of us are aware of the cycle of poverty that exists, limiting the opportunities of more than 14% of American citizens within both  rural and urban areas. One of the key factors that fuels this cycle of poverty are the number of single mothers/fathers and broken families which make up a large portion of those living below the poverty line.

This article and audio excerpt from National Public Radio,, highlight the efforts by organizations that encourage the actions of both parents to be active agents in the development of a child, throughout their lifetime in order to provide the opportunities necessary for that child to become educated and successful, thus breaking the cycle of poverty.

Another important factor that this article makes known is the tendency for women to become the primary guardian of children when a couple is not married or has separated, even when there are serious hazards and potential risks involved with providing one with custody of a child. The man discussed in the audio clip, Eric Viall, at the time this article was published, was engaged in a custody battle with the mother of his child who had a history of drug abuse but had been awarded custody because of statues in Ohio that automatically grant custody with the nearest available female relative before consideration of the own father.

When a child does have access to both parents, constant conflict can take a serious tole on the mental health of the child even when the parents have separated. There are many that present the argument of laziness or lack of motivation which keeps those under the poverty line but statistics suggest that there is a direct correlation between the success of children with access to only one parent, both, and even the orphaned children that grow up in foster homes. Those that can sympathize with these  people trapped within the cycle of poverty recognize that it is not only the lack of incomes and opportunities for education but also the structure that a loving family provides for an individuals growth into a fully functional adult.

Below is the embedded audio clip as well as references to the articles that I used:


Ludden, Jennifer. “To Break Cycle Of Child Poverty, Teaching Mom And Dad To Get Along.” NPR. NPR, 08 July 2014. Web. 09 July 2016. <>.

Fessler, Pam. “One Family’s Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break.” NPR. NPR, 07 May 2014. Web. 09 July 2016. <>.

2 thoughts on “Blog Post 1- Broken families fueling the cycle of poverty

  1. Unfortunately this situation is far too prevalent and I see it happening around me to people that I know. The point that you brought up about the child typically being given to the woman or closest female relative is something that I have always thought was odd and unfair. I understand that there is a difference between bonds with a father and mother and their child, however, that doesn’t always make the father unfit and the mother given majority of the custody. The vicious cycle of poverty can point many fingers at our court systems and how the child’s access to both parents is handled and decided. From someone who had to deal with it personally, holding the court systems who typically have biases is not a very effective way to handle the situation and overall future of a child’s well being.

  2. I concur without a doubt, that a key factor to breaking the cycle of poverty is to have educated and prepared parents/guardians. Structure and security are very crucial in child development, especially the younger they are. We also have to keep in mind that poverty is systemic to a degree, and a direct result of our society and culture. However, having strong, smart and caring individuals as role models during the developmental stage can (and usually does) make a huge difference in how that child turns out. Also, not only do the parents need to be educated, but the children need to understand the importance of knowledge and learning. Majority of the time, those in poverty have a poor or limited education background, which would make education another factor to breaking the cycle.

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