Neuroscience

Family size may influence cognitive functioning in later life

A new study at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and the Robert Butler Columbia Aging Center and Université Paris-Dauphine—PSL, found that having three or more versus two children has a negative effect ...

Neuroscience

Poverty, crime linked to differences in newborns' brains

Poverty and crime can have devastating effects on a child's health. But a new study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that some environmental factors influence the structure ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

For new mothers, feeling low in social status poses risk to health

When it comes to the link between socioeconomic status and health, perception can be as important as reality. A study published by the American Psychological Association finds that new mothers who see themselves as lower ...

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Poverty

Poverty is the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live in absolute poverty today. Relative poverty refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.

For most of history poverty had been mostly accepted as inevitable as traditional modes of production were insufficient to give an entire population a comfortable standard of living. After the industrial revolution, mass production in factories made wealth increasingly more inexpensive and accessible. Of more importance is the modernization of agriculture, such as fertilizers, in order to provide enough yield to feed the population.

The supply of basic needs can be restricted by constraints on government services such as corruption, debt and loan conditionalities and by the brain drain of health care and educational professionals. Strategies of increasing income to make basic needs more affordable typically include welfare, accommodating business regulations and providing financial services. Today, poverty reduction is a major goal and issue for many international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

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