This chapter offers a broad overview of the achievement risks associated with poverty and delineates the role of families and neighborhoods as mechanisms of risk and protection in impoverished contexts. It reviews evidence on the role of family context and then neighborhoods, recognizing that these contexts do not operate entirely independently on child development. In contemporary bio‐ecological models, the family is of paramount importance to the child’s development. The family investment perspective posits that income allows parents to invest in materials, experiences, and services to build the human capital of their children. Another important theory is the family process model. In this perspective, poverty is believed to be detrimental to child development because of its association with parents’ nonmonetary capacities. The theoretical frameworks proposed to explain the deleterious effects of growing up in a poor neighborhood are parallel to those at the family level, highlighting three overarching mechanisms: economic resources, social norms, and stressful conditions.