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Can a Parenting Class Help Poor People Get Out of Poverty?

By: Krystle Crossman

Children who live in poverty tend to have poorer health than those who live with higher income families. Unfortunately this is largely attributed to the fact that their parents have to spend a majority of their time working to try and make ends meet. They don’t have time to cook the healthiest of meals. They don’t have the money to buy the expensive produce that healthy dinners are often made with. All too often children living in poverty live on processed foods or sometimes no food at all.

A study run by researchers at Georgia State University found that there was a link between growing up in poverty and body inflammation. This inflammation can lead to a host of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and depression. Strong African American Families Project, part of the University’s Center of Family Research, is trying to spread knowledge on how to combat these diseases that are linked with living in poverty. They conducted a project for seven weeks where they gave parenting classes to families that lived in poverty.

The study started 8 years ago. They wanted to take a look at the data years later when the children in the home were grown to see if there was a link to any diseases that they may or may not have. What they found was that every single child that had a mother who performed well in the classes had less instances of body inflammation. They also showed that they had a better chance of living life above the poverty line.

Parents that live in poverty already have stress about bills and how to pay them so there is no time to think about saving money. As the years go on and the child develops different medical issues, the bills for seeing the doctor piles on and digs the family into an even deeper financial hole. With these parenting classes the parents were able to learn how to listen to their children, spend some quality time with them, and nurture them properly. This ended up alleviating some of the childhood illnesses which turned into less stress for the parents.

The hope is that these classes can become available soon to parents all over the country.

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