The Psychological Effect of Poverty

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When I think of the words psychological behavior, I think of the study of our minds and our behavior. Some may argue that our actions are not derived from the way we think, and you will have some who thinks we act the way we think. I’ve realized that I’m the individual who thinks the way our minds think is the way we behave. Poverty influences the behavior of individuals which results in violence, dependency, and dishonesty.

According to the United States Poverty Rates, 43.1 million people are affected by poverty in the United States alone. Poverty has paralyzed many communities in America and has psychologically affected millions of individuals including children. According to Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, three studies were conducted and compared their behavior to their lifestyle. The children with ADHD, opposition and physical aggression compared to children with normal behavior came from poor backgrounds. (Mazza,2016)

Poverty has caused psychological behavior such as ADHD, oppositional and physical aggression at a young age. The article, The Socio-Economic Empowerment Assessment: Addressing Poverty and Economic Distress is an article that proved how poverty affects individuals at a young age and how they grow into young adults with the same repetitive behavior.

When I think of the word poverty, I think of low income or no income. ‘Families whose income is low, showed an increase in behavioral problems’ (Noonan, 2018, p. 02). After reading Maternal Psychological distress and child Socio-Emotional behavior, I learned that mothers who were poor delivered babies while being poor and that child remained poor and developed the same financial and psychological behavior as the mother.

Although some individuals are born into poverty, it does not mean that they must live the same lifestyle. Also, there comes a time when an individual reaches a certain age, that they are responsible for their own actions. Most people who have psychological behavioral problems must understand their behavioral economic. ‘Individuals who lived in poverty, related to a poor economy’ (Jantti, 2014). Our environment influences our behavior. However, some individuals are consumed in their lifestyle and become conditioned to their environment. The scarcity of mental resources, attention, understanding, and self-control contributed to the actions of the individuals living in poverty.

Poverty exists when there is no financial security. How do we change this epidemic? Well, when there aren’t any resources available to individuals who’s poor or live in poor impoverished communities, they remain in a poverty-stricken state. One of the articles I read entitled, The Socio-Economic Empowerment Assessment: Addressing Poverty and Economic Distress, described a young woman who was raised by her aunt. Once she became a young adult, she moved in with her boyfriend and suffered from Domestic Violence while taking care of her child. After leaving him, she moved into a Domestic Violence shelter with her child. They had given her 3 months to work and save money, but because she was conditioned to living an unstable financial lifestyle, it showed when it was time for her to live on her own. Because the young lady did not understand financial security, she displayed the behavior of need and vulnerability, which put her in a violent situation. The way that an individual is raised, is how they are conditioned to live.

Our socio-economic status determines who we are in our community. The psychological effect of poverty has proven to be detrimental to individuals who are exposed to this lifestyle at an early age Living in poverty has caused a greater risk of violence. Poverty has been the ugly face of many communities. Unfortunately, there are individuals who live in poverty-stricken communities who become consumed by its behavioral economic. Once they’re consumed the characteristics of their physical behavior is equivalent to their economy. Some will argue that all individuals who’s born in poverty don’t remain or become consumed by their lifestyle. However, a majority has been proven by many tests to fall victim to their economy and develop psychological behavioral issues.


  1. Mazza, Julia (2016). Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. Poverty and Behavioral problems. 51:1083-1092 DOI 10.1007/S00127-016-1252-1
  2. Noonan. Katharine.et al. (2018). Family Income, Maternal psychological distress and child socio-emotional behavior: ISSN:2352-8273. DOI 10. 101lj.ssmph.2018.03.02
  3. Jantti, Markus (2014). Poverty, Development, and Behavioral Economics. Reviews of Income and Wealth. Series 60, Number 1. DOI:10.1111/ roiw.12085
  4. Hawkins, R., and Kim, E. (2012). The Socio-Economic Empowerment Assessment: Addressing Poverty and Economic Distress in Clients. Clinical Social Work Journal, 40(2), 194. Doi:10.1007/5 10615-011-0335-4
  5. Resolution on poverty and socio-economic status, RoeperReview: A journal on Gifted Education 25, no. 3:103-105. doi:10.1080/02783190309554209

Cite this paper

The Psychological Effect of Poverty. (2021, Nov 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-psychological-effect-of-poverty/

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