The federal government classifies a family as poor if itís pretax cash income falls below a certain minimum standard. This standard was established by dividing the average expenditure for a minimally adequate diet by the average share of family income spent on food. The federal poverty line is adjusted for family size and for changes in the average cost of living in the United States, but it is not adjusted for regional or local
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maltreatment in poor families as a result of the many risks associated with living in
poverty-among them chronic and severe stress, inadequate social support, and residence
in dangerous housing and socially disrupted neighborhoods. Among poor families it is
such situational factors, rather then serious psychopathology, that mat be responsible for
American Children in Poverty. Children's Defense Fund.1984.
Livel, K.L, The School as a Tool for Survival. New York: National Cenbter of Poverty. 1990.