The odds of upward mobility are intertwined with other challenges that children experience throughout their lives. High-levels of neighborhood violence, for example, can lead to traumatization that lasts into adulthood, and, if unaddressed, can significantly impact the likelihood of completing high school, accessing a well paying job, or living in poverty. Mental and physical health are important conditions to understand in relation to upward socioeconomic mobility.
- Research on exposure to community-level violence, measured as proximity to officer-involved shootings, found that students who were exposed to these events were less likely to graduate high school, had lower GPAs, and were more likely to impact students of color. These impacts are especially pronounced for younger students who also experience longer-term negative effects of these events.
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are attributed to higher rates of anxiety and depression in adults across North America (Bellis et al 2019), as well as increased chances of cardiovascular disease and other health related issues. These effects are more likely in those who experience a larger number of ACE events in their childhood.
- ACE exposure suggests a higher risk of not completing high school, adult unemployment, and poverty. A person exposed to three ACEs are about 1.5 times more likely to not graduate high school than a person with no ACE exposure. (Metzler et al 2017, Zielinski 2009)
- A meta-analysis of research on the connection between ACEs and socioeconomic status shows the importance, across many studies, of socioeconomic status as both a predictor of ACE exposure and contributing to the cyclical nature of ACE exposure and poverty. (Walsh et al 2019)
- Air pollution, often concentrated in communities of color, has long-last implications for an individuals health and well-being, while also posing great risks for prenatal and early childhood development that impact educational outcomes later in life.