Poverty has been a big social issue around the world and among many cultural groups, it affects everybody, from adults, teenagers, and kids. One of the cultural groups that tend to be affected by this social issue is in the Hispanic/ Latino community. According to Bread For the World, in 2015 around nineteen percent of Latino Households struggle to provide food for their family, and around twenty-one percent have lived below the poverty line. Poverty is something that affects many Hispanics and Latinos and is an ongoing struggle. Data shows that one out of five Latino households struggles to obtain food which is more than double of those in White households. Not only that, but around thirty percent of these Latino/ Hispanic households are headed by an undocumented parent or parents. The increase of poverty among this community are results of discrimination, immigration status, low wages, lack of education opportunities, higher health costs, no medical insurance, and higher levels of deportation (Bread for the World, 2016).
Although there are programs like Welfare that can help these Latino/ Hispanics communities, not everyone is able to apply to these programs nor guarantees them that this will help them overcome poverty. With this being said, parent-child relationships and parent roles play a big a role when it comes to poverty among Hispanic/Latino communities. Parent-child Relationships Poverty has a big impact when it comes to parent and child relationships. It impacts both of them mentally and physically. When families are struggling to get food on the table the first ones to act are the parents, they focus so much on working but don’t realize the effect that has towards their children. This affects their children because they start becoming independent at a younger age. They face problems by themselves and don’t have the parent figures that other kids do which leads to bigger problems. In order to see how poverty affects parent and child relationships, Catherine DeCarlo Santiago and Martha E. Wadsworth (2012) conducted a study that examined 90 low income Latino middle school children and their families.
For this study, all participants identified themselves as Hispanic/ Latino, but only 75% of families identified themselves as Mexican-origin and 77% identified themselves as immigrants. This study examined if Poverty Related Stress (PRS) had and effect toward children, parents and their relationships. In the study made poverty had bad impacts on children, like depression, anxiety, agressions, and bad school performance. On the other hand parents were strongly affected by PRS, which not only stressed them out but stressed out the kids leading to greater effects on them and their relationships. Not being able to deal with PRS within a family creates tension and distance among one another, but these studies show that some low income families are able to cope with PRS specially immigrant parent families since they are stronger on their roots, culture, and teachings to their children. Although this study showed that some families can cope with PRS others cannot which leads to bad parent-child relationships and mental and physical problems with children. Parent Roles Parents always want the best for their kids. They want them to succeed and live better lives. Unfortunately many Hispanic/Latino communities live in poverty which makes it harder for parents to provide for their kids and families. Parents work so hard in order for their kids and families to have shelter and food. They work double shifts, two different jobs, and take care of households which leaves little time for the kids. In order to get better understanding of the biggest role parents play and struggles they go through when it comes to providing for their family, Mary Russell, Barbara Harris, and Annemarie Gockel (2008) provides a study done to 35 parents all done over a time period of 18 months.
This study demonstrated the obstacles parents face when they try to provide for their family. They recognize that they have been ‘bad parents’ to their kids because of the lack of attention, but realize that it’s a role and sacrifice they have to make in order for their kids to have food and shelter. Furthermore parents play a big role among Hispanic/ Latino communities when it comes to being able to provide for their family. Having this role is not easy especially when a job is not always guaranteed. This is why providing is one of the biggest and most important role a parent can play among this community.
To conclude, poverty is something that affects the Hispanic/ Latino community in two big ways; parent-child relationships and parent roles within this social issue. Being a child and seeing the daily struggle parents go through in order to provide food for the family affects them in a big negative way. Children are not the only affected with this social issue but parents are as well. Being the head of a family, having to provide, and taking care of the house can be very stressful and hurtful because leaving your kids for a long time causes distance between one another affecting the relationship. Although it has a negative affect, parents work hard, work extra shifts, and provide because it’s what they want and need to do. It’s a very important role they play which is what gives them shelter and food. With this being said, poverty has and will be a big social issue around the world affecting many cultural groups, one of them being the Hispanic/ Latino community.
Hunger and Poverty in the Latino Community. (2019, Apr 16).
Retrieved June 23, 2021 , from
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