Growing Up in Poor Neighborhoods Can Have a ‘Devastating’ Impact
The researchers, Geoffrey Wodtke and David Harding of the University of Michigan and Felix Elwert of the University of Wisconsin, sought to measure the “full impact of a lifetime of neighborhood disadvantage.” They based their findings on longitudinal data following more than 4,000 children from age 1 through age 17. They defined disadvantaged neighborhoods as those with high poverty, unemployment and welfare caseloads, as well as high numbers of households headed by single mothers and few well-educated adults.
The results suggest that such neighborhoods may have an even more profound impact on the lasting educational success of children than has been previously measured, and that where a child grows up may even impact his or her long-term cognitive development, well after he or she moves out of the neighborhood.
If we continue allowing neighborhoods to be segregated by class, we will never successfully or significantly reduce long term poverty levels. We must plan and fight for mixed income neighborhoods!