Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural School Psychology

pp 740-742



  • Mark KiangAffiliated withGraduate School of Education, Department of Educational Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


The problem of poverty is one that affects individuals and families in the United States (U.S.) and on a global level. In 2005, approximately one out of eight people or 36 million Americans were living below the poverty line. Poverty may be defined based on purely economic factors for practical and statistical objectives, however, there are many aspects of its debilitating power that are more difficult and even impossible to measure. Even while Census Bureau surveys can estimate the number of those suffering from poverty in the U.S., numbers cannot begin to tell the story of its painful related effects, ranging from hunger to feelings of powerlessness. Unfortunately, when it comes to the proportions of those who experience poverty in the U.S., there exists a great disparity that is divided along racial and ethnic lines. Just as disheartening is the fact that children suffer from poverty at a rate greater than the population at large. Poverty’s devastating direct and ind ...

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