In a 2015 study by Ben Fell and Miles Hewstone from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UK, what many, living in poverty or working in deprived areas, had suspected for a long time, was proven accurate. Poverty has a detrimental effect that goes far beyond lacking resources. So, to answer the question, “does poverty affect self-esteem?”: Yes, it does.
In fact, researchers concluded that those living in poverty also suffer in many other ways. Lack of self-esteem, feelings of personal failure, along with lack of self-confidence are just among some of the very serious issues facing those living in poverty.
Here’s a summary of the findings, providing a clear-cut answer to the question “does poverty affect self-esteem?”.
Negative Perceptions Copper Fasten Stereotypes
People have strong negative perceptions of people living in poverty, believing that this poverty results from personal failings. Stereotyping is common, even among policy-makers. When designing anti-poverty drives, these perceptions may well influence the approach.
Mixing Communities Helps
Contact between communities of different socioeconomic backgrounds helps to build relationships. In addition, mixing communities works toward creating a better mutual understanding. Children, in particular, can benefit from mixing with kids from a variety of communities.
Negative Stereotypes Lower the Self-Esteem of Those Living in Poverty
Negative perceptions compound the issues. In fact, they affect the way those living in poverty perceive themselves. In many cases, stereotypes lead to lower self-esteem and lack of self-confidence. What’s more, it makes educational and professional achievements more difficult to obtain.
Poverty Increase Mental Health Problem Risks
The stress of living in poverty can trigger serious mental health issues including schizophrenia, depression, and substance abuse.
Poverty May Lead to Health Issue for Children In Later Life
The study also suggests that children learn to cope with the strain of living in poverty at an early age. Though they are able to manage these stress levels, some go onto developing cancer and heart disease as a result.
Living in poverty creates a scarcity mindset and may rob individuals of the ability to plan for a better future. Because they can only provide for themselves from one day to the next and are constantly lacking financial resources, they lose their long-term perspective. This means that the scarcity mindset heightens and perpetuates the problems and issues surrounding the poverty.
Poorer Performance Among Kids
Kids from deprived areas perform less well in many areas. They are less able to take on language tasks, make decisions, plan, and pay attention.
The Poverty Trap Is Alive and Well
This makes for depressing reading. It seems, escaping the poverty trap is even more difficult than you’d imagine. If you think about it, it all makes perfect sense, though. If you’re poor, you’re consumed with worry, day by day, while you have to put up with the stereotypes. So how do you get out of the poverty trap?
Well, according to this study, each socioeconomic class should mix with another. Perhaps it’s up to those who have to reach out to those who don’t – leaving aside all the negative preconceptions.