Poverty: But It Controls Every Aspect of Your Life

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Poverty has been around since the dawn of time, affecting those in its clutches dearly and for generations. In this paper, I will be covering how poverty controls more than when you pay the bills and what you can eat; and how it ties into genetics, addiction, development and incarceration rates. In cases where poverty is prevalent, genes don’t always have the opportunity to express themselves, The impact of growing up impoverished overwhelms children’s genetic capacities indefinitely.

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Home life is the biggest factor for children who live in poverty. Those in upper-class homes are exposed to more mental stimulation and this allows their brain to build necessary neural paths in order for them to thrive in society. I.Q. is relatively genetic too, meaning that well-off families that are offered more opportunities to express their genetics to the full extent will have a higher I.Q. Working class families usually have a lower I.Q. by 12-21 points compared to their richer counterparts. The French adoption study (1994) featured sixty-five adopted children between the ages of four and six, most were abused, neglected and existed in poor living conditions. Their I.Q.’s averaged 77, a rather low score. After they were adopted and stayed with their families for a near decade, the children retook the I.Q. tests, and all of them performed better. The amount they improved was directly related to the adopting family’s economic status. Children adopted by working-class families had average I.Q. scores of 85, those placed with middle-class families had average scores of 92. The average I.Q. scores of those placed in upper-class families rocketed to 98. Studies seem to conflict with each other when the idea of Nature Vs Nurture comes into play. At certain points, it seems to look as though nurture matters more than nature or vice versa – though there’s no definite answer as to which is more important; or which one holds more power over us and our actions. For example; addiction is something that can rely on both.

Addictions are moderate to highly heritable, but The Virginia Twin Study showed that in the adolescence stage use of nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana were strongly determined by family and social factors. With addiction, genes and economic status affect it largely. Genes only play a role in addiction, they don’t cause addiction. This is an important fact. It’s common for a person to be at risk for a mental health disorder and addiction due to genetics, this is referred to as ‘dual diagnosis’. Addiction relies on many different factors that most of the time have to shoot off in rapid succession. These variables tend to be, stress, income, physical or mental health, really a whole plethora of things, every person is different, and will have different reasons to partake in substance abuse.

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