“Beating the Odds” Versus “Changing the Odds”: Poverty, Resilience, and Family Policy



Mixed in with national data on declining poverty rates are other signs that poverty, economic hardship, and inequality continue unabated. This essay examines: (a) the scope of poverty and the growing disparity in income and wealth; (b) the consequences of poverty of adults and children; and (c) strategies for improving their resilience. It is suggested that resiliency will be enhanced more by keen attention to national economic policies than by focusing upon individual personality characteristics, family attributes, or even unique community features. Drawing on a public health analogy, a focus on prevention (through sound economic redistribution policies) could significantly strengthen families and improve their well-being.