Understanding the rise of child poverty
In Hong Kong, child poverty has evolved into a serious social problem that has the potential to cause intergenerational poverty. Over the past three decades, researchers have made attempts to understand the rise of child poverty in Hong Kong immigrant families and the results indicate that there has been a fluctuating rate of increase between 18.1% in the year 1981 up to about 38% in the year 2011. Such a tremendous increase is projected to have been associated with economic changes and fluctuations in Hong Kong that has made it challenging and stressful for the immigrant families to efficiently adapt to the host society, and especially in the 1990s. The economic changes in the entire Asian region and especially China has influenced economics in Hong Kong and this has increased the rate at which the immigrant families are left struggling. Such negative effect offset the positive influences of the generational and compositional changes among the immigrant families in regards to the family size and provision of parental education. According to research by (), the gap that continues extending between the local families and the immigrant families in the context of child poverty is mainly related to the fact that during the onset of the 1990s, the contextual negative effect in Hong Kong was balanced by the beneficial impact of the compositional changes for the local families. The immigrant families were left out and this has increased their hardships in providing for their children.
Effects of child poverty
The current article seeks to explain the familial effect on child poverty among immigrant families in Hong Kong. From this article is evident that the rise of poor performance of the immigrant children in sectors such as education can be attributed to the disadvantageous parenting practices and family backgrounds. This article postulates that the children growing up in low-income households of the immigrant families have fewer opportunities and this positions them in an unfair situation as they are most likely to remain poor even in adulthood. Compared to other regions and developed economies, Hong Kong has a higher record of child poverty. Child poverty is a concern since it has both immediate and future impact on the well-being of the child. This article finds that there are higher child poverty rates among immigrant families as compared to local Chinese families. The structures of the immigrant families, issues of assimilation and the parental human capital characteristics are most likely to increase the prevalence of the child poverty risks among the immigrant families. The main strength of the argument that the policy system in Hong Kong whereby there are increases in the immigrant population in Hong Kong sheds light to the increasing rate of poverty among these families. By using the theory of the family context and the assimilation theory, this article provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of the intergenerational factors in Hong Kong migrant families that could be increasing the poverty rates among the children. However, this article does not offer an integrated and deeper insight into the main causes of the poverty among the children from the immigrant families. Using a proactive analysis to show how the family context and socio-economics of Hong Kong affects the immigrant families would have been helpful in understanding the roots of poverty among immigrant families.
The family context
The family context and assimilation theory can be effective in understanding the issues of child poverty among immigrant families. According to this theory, the family structures may have a significant impact on increasing the risk of the child thriving in poverty. This is mainly because the family structures may exacerbate the socio-economic factors that may bring around some disadvantages to the children. The risks of thriving in poverty among immigrant children are mainly magnified by the single-parent immigrant families as compared to the native-born families. This shows that in a case where children come from single-parent families, the children from the immigrant parent are more likely to suffer from poverty. According to the assimilation theory, this has been found as effective in explaining the rise of poverty among the Hong Kong immigrant families children. This is because, with the stipulations of this theory, it is evident that there exists a socio-economic perspective to understanding the issues that affect the immigrant families. According to this socio-economic perspective, the welfare of the immigrant families will eventually over time as they continue being exposed to their host economies and societies.
As there are different children born over the time of the immigration, for instance, the second-generation chikdren of the immigrant families will live in lesser poverty as compared to the first children. This is because as time passes by, these families are still becoming integrated and assimilated into the Hong Kong culture, meaning that they are able to offset the poverty risk. The relationship between the immigration status and poverty level among these immigrant families is direct as this theory postulates. The effect of the generational status, immigration, and the family structure is thus found to be magnified by the stature of the immigration as well as the economic conditions in the host country. In the case of Hong Kong, owing to the changes being introduced in the economy besides the economic downturns and upturns do not provide an adequate opportunity for immigrant families to take a role in the economy. This is an issue that affects their income levels and in relation to the families, this affects the future of the children who are subjected to poverty. Supported by other theories such as the human capital theory, the family context, and the assimilation theory helps us understand that the nature of the immigrant family determines the level of poverty that their children will be subjected to, now and in the future.
Poverty as an issue among immigrants
Gaining a deeper insight into the issue of poverty among the immigrant families and the children, it is important to evaluate the effects that economies have on the family structures. With the different generations, the poverty levels experienced differs among the single-parent families, and the whole family immigrants. This is mainly because, the single-parent families struggle a lot in a new city and before they get accustomed and assimilated with the language, culture and the way of life, this implies that they have to endure challenges. They are subjected to poverty, out of their own power and will. Considering the experiences of the children from the whole family immigrants, they are not affected as much as the single-parent. Consequently, as stipulated by the family context and the assimilation theory, the first-generation and second-generation children have differences and this was as highlighted above. The family context, therefore, plays a central role in determining the experiences that the children have as compared to the local families.
When children are subjected to poverty, they are most likely to become disadvantaged and deprived. In terms of access to quality health care, education and social services, these children are denied equal access. This makes them fail to develop normally and growing to support their families. The children who have stayed for long in the poverty are also denied a greater association in the society and when the socio-economic disadvantages continue becoming unfavorable, this puts the health, future and the welfare of these children in jeopardy. It is generally accepted that the incidence of poverty ends up in difficulty with various aspects of childhood development including psychological and physical health (Currie et al., 2012). More research has shown that, besides the family context and the socio-economic conditions that affect the families and their children, the immigrant children living in poor families are also experiencing poor education and their opportunities are also limited. These children also experience a detrimental effect on their future employment and this can signify that the long term dire consequence of child poverty among the immigrant families in Hong Kong can lead to intergenerational poverty.
The immigrant families are the main workforce for mainland China but the vulnerability that poverty among the immigrant families brings to the children undermine their social contribution to economic development. Unless there are mechanisms and targeted interventions used to combat the rise of child poverty among immigrant families, there will continue being added social burdens on both the children and the whole society. The future development of children will also be affected. It is generally accepted that the rise of poverty levels among the immigrant families has brought about a range of issues in childhood development which among them include psychological and physical health, social participation and school performance. In addition to the immediate challenges, the immigrant children living in the poor families are also faced by lack of an adequate opportunity to acquire higher education and in the future, some of them often lack opportunities for employment. These issues all drawback to the family context and the assimilation into the Chinese culture. The long term negative consequences of child poverty have a dire consequence of degenerating into intergenerational poverty. Besides being a significant social problem in its own right, child poverty from immigrant families also has some policy implications for the aging society in Hong Kong. In this concern, it is placing huge burdens
describe what the article says, summarise the strengths and weaknesses in the argument and confirm what area of family and kinship studies it helps you to understand and why.
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