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Amber Todd


Objective: The goal of this investigation is to analyze data to determine the factors that influence childhood poverty in Tennessee. Specifically, I am examining how child poverty has changed over the past years, as well as determining its associations with residential segregation (Black/white), food insecurity, teen births, low birthweights, child and infant mortalities, drug overdose deaths, access to healthy foods, premature deaths, and uninsured children. Data was used from the County Health Rankings website. Their data has been collected from surveys. Paired t-tests, unpaired t-tests, Pearson correlations, and stepwise linear regressions were performed. Results indicated that Tennessee has had decreased rates of child poverty from the years 2015 to 2020 and that Tennessee has lower rates of child poverty compared to Kentucky. It was found that infant mortality, residential segregation (Black/white), teen births, and food insecurity accounted for child poverty in Tennessee counties in 2020. Low birthweights, child mortality, and premature death correlated to child poverty in Tennessee. However, limited access to healthy foods, uninsured children, and drug overdose deaths did not demonstrate a correlation to child poverty in Tennessee counties. The identification of the associated risk factors to child poverty is important because it can be used to implement direct resources and policies to reduce the number of children living in poverty in Tennessee.

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