Today, I found this summary of research here. The first part of the post discusses that people in poverty get caught in the Tyranny of the Moment because there are so many fires to be put out, they can only think of the "now" in order to survive. This completely squelches any ability that they have to plan for the future.
Dr. Reuven Feuerstein, a holocaust survivor who studied the impact of the holocaust and war on children realized that:
If individuals cannot plan, they cannot predict.
If they cannot predict, then they cannot identify cause and effect.
If they cannot identify cause and effect, they cannot identify consequence.
If they cannot identify consequence, they cannot control impulsivity.
If they cannot control impulsivity, they have an inclination toward criminal behavior.
Can you see how the stress of daily life affects how people in poverty act, feel and view the world? What other things can you see being affected by the stresses of daily survival without stable resources?
One of the challenges that the folks encounter at work is that resourced families who take in children of under-resourced parents feel angry that the parents have let the situation get to such an awful place. This kind of research helps them understand where the guest families are coming from.