Great job on this week's discussion! Low-income families or families in a poor financial situation, as you have mentioned, are more likely to have dysfunction in their health patterns. People with lower incomes report poorer health and have a higher risk of disease. According to the Center on Society and Health, the greater one's income, the lower one's likelihood of disease and premature death, and poor adults are almost five times as likely to report being in fair or poor health as adults with family incomes at or above 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or FPL (Woolf,2015). Comprehensive family assessment is essential to provide holistic and preventative care to our patients.
I personally identified with your post, as I have witnessed how each of those familial aspects you cited, have led to poorer health outcomes. Specifically, after I completed my first degree in Psychology, I worked at a group home, and provided one-on-one therapy to minors that were placed at this facility from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or the Department of Mental Health (DMH). I cannot tell you how many of these children exhibited the worst behavioral and psychological behaviors due to an unhealthy family upbringing. Although there will always be that debate of nurture versus nature, I do always believe that the nurture argument and the social and psychosocial atmosphere one is raised in, holds the most strength in the shaping of an individual and in structuring their future health outcomes as an adult.
We've seen so many families due to their low income status raise their children off solely fast food, and offer fast food as a reward to keep their “difficult” children subdued. Due to this setup, these kids find food as their coping mechanism and would have the most insane breakdowns over missing a snack or being denied a specific dessert. This psychological dependency on food with a combination of psych medications (which also cause weight gain), left these kids severely obese, which only further hurt their level of self-esteem. As you also stated, lack of rules, poorer financial situations, and constant emotional disturbances, together are the perfect recipe for future dysfunctional health patterns and truly, that is what I experienced in the population I worked with at this facility. These children were unable to cope, had poor self esteem, had no perception of rules and boundaries, and were unaware of what true love was; This would only leave them at 18 pregnant, on the streets, and parenting a new generation with the very same unhealthy patterns that they were raised on as well–it was and still is, a truly horrible and unending cycle.