Young Diverse Children Living in Big City Term Paper

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Young Diverse Children Living in Big Cities

This paper will focus on the lives and challenges minority and culturally diverse youths face growing up in major urban city environments, such as Newark, New York, Baltimore or Seattle. The advent of major metropolitan areas has stimulated a rapidly increasing population of disadvantaged and volatile youths. In today's America, it seems that more and more young people growing up in major cities are subjected to poor socio-economic conditions, which anymore lead to an increased likelihood for violence and life disruption.

Today's youths growing up in major urban cities are often disadvantaged; they lack the self-esteem, confidence and tools necessary to succeed in their later adulthood. I hope through my research to uncover facts related to urban distress among youths. I hope to also explore community organizations that have focused their efforts on improving the conditions prevalent among urban youths. I propose that through increased mentoring programs to both youths and adults in family environments, the incidence of failure and violence among children growing up in big cities might be reduced. This idea and more are explored in greater detail below.


Stewart, Nikita. "Survey Finds Newark a Bad City To Raise Kids."

Major questions posed: This study questions how children can be raised effectively in big cities such as Newark, which consists of more than 70,000 children and was cited as the most kid-unfriendly cities in a survey conducted by a nonprofit environmental group based in D.C.

Methods of investigation:

Zero Population Growth, a nonprofit environmental group in Washington D.C. carries out advocacy activities aimed at slowing population growth. The company conducted a survey that examined the effects of big cities on children.

Study population:

The study examined 70,000 children in major cities across the United States. The organization divided the survey, conducted in 1997, into 229 communities to include big-cities, suburbs and independent cities.

Research variables:

14 key indicators were used to rank cities which included: percent of birth to teen mothers, infant mortality rate, low birth-weight infants, number of children in pre-school, drop out rate, violent crimes among youths, property crimes, number of children in poverty and public transportation (Stewart, 2001).

Key findings:

Newark was rated the third worst city in which to raise children in.

Author's conclusions:

Other big cities which may not be ideal to raise children in include Detroit, Baltimore and St. Louis which ranked last. San Bernardino CA was also ranked very poorly. The author claimed that many cities have a lot of good programs targeted toward youths, however too many of the children living in big cities suffer low socioeconomic problems, which contribute to the likelihood that they will experience problems as they are growing up. The major challenge according to the author of this article is "getting kids and the parents aware and hooked up with the help they need."

Reflection: This article supports the premise that the nations children are in jeopardy.

Achytes, Eric. "Big Problem, Small Band Aid."

Major Question Posed:

Is overcrowding in big cities causing children growing up in these environments excessive problems?

Methods of Investigation:

Studying fourth grade classrooms in overcrowded areas of Compton, CA. Survey methodology.

Study Population:

Fourth grade classrooms in elementary schools in Compton CA.

Key Findings:

Classes were composed of primarily underprivileged Latino and African-American students.


10-year-old students and similar aged students in fourth grade classrooms throughout CA local areas. Students are typically minorities.

Authors Conclusions:

Children are abused in the environments, often prevalent in big cities where minority students are forced to endure poor teaching conditions. The author noticed that there are too many problem children in such environments. Author points out that "the problems facing the inner city go much deeper than initiative that government is currently addressing." Author notes that children are not dumb, but rather smart and curious. However they are not able to learn the skills necessary to persevere and concentrate in structured school environments b/c their school environments don't foster a curricula targeted toward culturally divers students. As a result, students "confidence and then their performance suffers."


How are children supposed to learn effectively in environments where a majority of the children are presumed to be problem children?

Husock, Howard. "Let's Break Up the Big Cities."

Major Question Posed:

Mr. Husock questions the idea of further expanding upon major metropolitan governments.

Methods of Investigation:

Survey and observation of major metropolitan cities and areas where populations are growing to exponential levels.

Study Population:

800,000 students in major city school districts including LA Unified School districts.

Key Findings:

Students growing up in major urban city school districts are less likely to excel and face unique challenges.

Authors Conclusions:

There are too many people, residents and students per city council member in order to adequately address issues, constraints on government provisions. Smaller metropolitan areas would better meet the needs of the population and provider better governance and direction than larger areas.


The author makes a very valid point here; Up until this point in time the focus for many city governments has been growth and expansion; at this point however many cities have grown too large and can't address the needs of the current population adequately, especially students living within major metropolitan areas.

Child Trends. "Raising Children in Big Cities."

Major Question Posed:

Does giving children the "right start" change the possibility for a positive outcome in their life?

Methods of Investigation:

The study investigates the nation's larges 50 cities, and presents data on an ongoing basis related to eight specific measures of healthy and a promising start to life.

Study Population:

Teen mothers, teens in Baltimore, Cleveland, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Orleans and St. Louis.

Key Findings:

In major cities, births to teen mothers accounted for more than 20% of all births, and 13% of children born to these mothers living in big city condition faced hardships including poverty, poor school performance and the potential for school failure.

Authors Conclusions:

gap exists between the largest cities in American and the rest of the nation. This is due to a disproportionate amount of low income and minority populations that currently reside in big cities. The statistics available for urban children and families "reflect the disadvantages of poverty and discrimination."


The likelihood that corruption will occur among the nation's youths is increased among urban children populations, for children growing up in big cities, primarily because these children are exposed to lesser opportunities and lower socio-economic status's than other children. The likelihood that this trend will prevail is great.

Lieberman, Robert. "Welfare Policy Urban Impact Statement."

Major Question Posed:

Is poverty a national issue that is more prevalent among America's inner cities and urban communities?

Survey in 1998 of the country's 15 million + inner city residents, the majority of which who lived below the poverty level.

Study Population:

15 million inner city residents and rural area and suburbia residents.

Key Findings:

More than 29.8% of the population of citizens within the U.S. currently lives in big cities, and that number has been rapidly increasing for several years. Poverty tends to be concentrated in big cities, with poverty rates of 40% or more not uncommon in urban areas where more than 8 million people live on average.

Authors Conclusions:

Nearly half of the people living under poverty stricken conditions in urban cities are minorities, the majority of whom are African-Americans or Latino. The neighborhoods that youths are growing up in within major urban cities are typically characterized by social and economic problems including low incidence of good jobs, low-quality housing, bad schools and high rates of crimes and incarceration.


This study validates the premise that youths growing up in urban cities are subjected to an increased likelihood for failure in life if they are not taught appropriate coping mechanisms. It seems that the populations most likely impacted by urban life include children who are minorities, specifically African-American and Latino Youths.


The Carnegie Corporation of New York is dedicated to promoting the interests of urban youths and promoting urban school reform. Mr. Paige himself who is an active member of the corporation's advisor team has supported the move to forming school district-community partnerships that are oriented toward reforming school districts in New York and abroad. He notes that more than 70% of urban city fourth graders still are not able to read at the level they should be able to, and many inner city college students have to take remedial courses just to catch up to their peers.

The greatest failure of the public education system, according to Mr. Paige, is the "growing achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers" (Paige, 2001). The organization is currently committed to narrowing the achievement gap between culturally diverse and minority students in inner cities and elsewhere. The motto of the community organization is "No Child Left Behind." (Paige, 2001).

Most helpful and effective reform measures according to the Carnegie organization include boosting a students access…[continue]

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