Poverty in rural Appalachia

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Rural Appalachian single mothers struggle with poverty since the early 20th century. Culture insensitivity causes severe poverty patterns. Female-headed households constitute of families in poverty (Nelson, 2014). They face many obstacles in providing care, earn income, and meet basic needs. According to American community Survey (ACS), approximately forty-five percent of single parent families are in poverty. Therefore, research shows that children nurtured by rural single mothers are more likely to present signs of minimal physical and cognitive development. Besides, they face scarcity of employment opportunities indicating a possibility of low levels of economic wellbeing (Council, 2012). Children are the most vulnerable to poverty. Research shows that children living in poor conditions are negatively affected.

Appalachian women are prevalent to tobacco consumption. Most of these rural single mothers who record low socioeconomic position are more likely to involve themselves in smoking. Therefore, social inequalities tend to be the partial cause of these behaviors and conditions. Therefore, rural Appalachian single mothers greatly at risk to these kinds of actions due to their poverty level and consumption of tobacco. Children are likely to experience socioeconomic disadvantages because of their smoking parent making them vulnerable to regular smoking at a tender age (Wewers et al., 2012)

Therefore, disparities in education and employment related to the inability of quitting smoking, especially in women. Research shows that smoking affects women who experience motherhood at early stages of their lives and persistent in the behavior correlates with depression and economic disadvantage. Similarly, rural Appalachian women record higher rates of cervical cancer. Therefore, previous studies show that cost is a significant barrier to human papillomavirus vaccine. The treatment is not affordable, as the VFC program does not cover most of them (Oldach & Katz, 2012).

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  1. Council, H. A. (2012). Poverty in rural America. Rural Research Note. Available online at: http://www.ruralhome.org/storage/research_notes/rrn_poverty.pdf
  2. Nelson, M. (2014). The social economy of single motherhood: Raising children in rural America. Routledge.
  3. Oldach, B. R., & Katz, M. L. (2012). Ohio Appalachia public health department personnel: human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine availability, and acceptance and concerns among parents of male and female adolescents. Journal of Community Health, 37(6), 1157-1163.
  4. Wewers, M. E., Salsberry, P. J., Ferketich, A. K., Ahijevych, K. L., Hood, N. E., & Paskett, E. D. (2012). Risk factors for smoking in rural women. Journal of Women’s Health, 21(5), 548-556. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3388498/
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