Lifting Families Out of Poverty Improves Children’s Mental Health

Kermit Cole
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Cash from casino profits provided a rare opportunity to explore the effect of an improvement in the financial well-being of families, among North Carolina’s Cherokee Indians, on the mental health of their children. The researchers found that  the Cherokee children who experienced less poverty in childhood had better mental health as adults.  One variable stood out: improved parenting quality.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

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