Effects of Poverty on Mental Health

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People who live in economically disadvantaged communities face several challenges pertaining to their mental health. They are at a greater risk of being exposed to violence, crimes, and intolerance when compared to middle or high-income communities. Apart from this, the ability of these individuals to access mental health services is impaired. Poverty affects both the probability of individuals developing mental health problems and their capacity to address these issues, aggravating these communities’ mental health struggles.

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Poverty impacts mental health because of impaired access to quality psychotherapy services, lack of focus on mental health in disadvantaged communities, and the environment where disadvantaged youths live. Some issues that impact this factor are: having no financial resources to pay for psychotherapy services, insufficient number of government-funded mental health programs, having no funds for transportation, and others. Another issue is that although youth in disadvantaged communities is engaged in advocacy for social change, they do not recognize mental health as one of the problems that need to be dressed. Finally, poverty is only one element of the environment that youth living in disadvantaged communities face. Other issues include violence, crimes, and intolerance from members of other communities. These issues create a system where youths are constantly in a state of distress.

Annotated Bibliography

Castrellon, E. (2010). An exploration of the social construction of race and racial identity: A project based upon an independent investigation. (Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton). Web.

Castrellon (2010) explores the issues of race and identity through the use of Queer Theory and Narrative Theory. The goal is to help social workers understand how their attitudes towards race and the socio-political approach to defining it affects their clients. This work is a theoretical exploration, and the author does not use a specific population to review the issue. The conclusions show that social workers’ perceptions are shaped by society and political agenda, which may impact their ability to help disadvantaged communities.

Although this work does not directly explore the link between poverty and mental health, it is an important paper for social workers and professionals interested in social issues. This source is valuable because it applies the theories to the established views on race and helps identify the gaps in people’s perceptions of themselves and others. This work sets out a framework for understanding how the attitudes of social workers towards people’s identity can affect those who live in poverty.

Kodet, J., Reese, R. J., Duncan, B. L., & Bohanske, R. T. (2019). Psychotherapy for depressed youth in poverty: Benchmarking outcomes in a public behavioral health setting. Psychotherapy, 56(2), 254–259. Web.

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Kodet et al. (2019) report that youth from socially disadvantaged backgrounds is at a higher risk of having mental health problems when compared to youth from middle or high-income families. Moreover, the access to psychotherapy for this population is limited, and the quality of services they receive is usually subpar, and some causes of this issue include lack of access to transportation and proper resources. Kodet et al. (2019) used the method of client feedback to determine if psychotherapy for disadvantaged youths can be improved with this approach.

Kodet et al. (2019) identified the problem that youth living in poverty face and the barriers to helping them improve their mental health. The authors also noted that previous studies with this population show that the effect of psychotherapy is less significant for this population when compared to others, although no scholarly article directly addresses the potential causes. As supported by empirical findings of Kodet et al. (2019), client feedback is a valid way to improve psychotherapy services for disadvantaged youths.

Mowat, J. G. (2019). Exploring the impact of social inequality and poverty on the mental health and wellbeing and attainment of children and young people in Scotland. Improving Schools, 22(3), 204–223. Web.

The topic of the article by Mowat (2019) is the effect of poverty and social inequality on the children and youths living in Scotland. The author states that the issue of poverty cannot be reviewed without focusing on the effect that these living conditions have on the mental health of children. Mowat (2019) reports that adverse childhood experiences and social stratification are the issues that affect the mental wellbeing of this population the most. However, having a supporting adult mediates the negative impact of these factors.

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Since Mowat (2019) conducted their study in Scotland, it may be difficult to generalize the findings and apply them to other countries as the economic, social, and political conditions can be different. The author argues that there is a need to create a strong social infrastructure around disadvantaged families to support the mental health of children. However, this suggestion has several limitations since the families in underprivileged communities lack access to social support resources due to insufficient funding from the government. Thus, although Mowat’s advice is valid and there is a need to support disadvantaged communities, there is a need to outline strategies that can be implemented in real life considering the limited resources and empirical evidence.

Pedersen, G.A., Smallegange, E., Coetzee, A., Hartog, K., Turner, J., Jordans, M. D. & Brown, F. L. (2019). A systematic review of the evidence for family and parenting interventions in low- and middle-income countries: Child and youth mental health outcomes. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28, 2036–2055. Web.

Pedersen et al. (2019) explore the topic of improving the mental wellbeing of youths living in harmful socioeconomic environments. The authors argue that apart from the economic issues, youth in low and middle-income families are also exposed to violence and insufficient access to mental health treatments, which impair their mental health. Pedersen et al. (2019) suggest addressing these issues through family interventions. Both caregiver psychoeducation and caregiver coping skills have shown a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of children.

The review of literature by Pedersen et al. (2019) offers an insight into the types of interventions that are effective for youths in disadvantaged communities and which will require lesser resources when compared to one on one psychotherapy sessions. Addressing caregivers’ capacity to provide mental health support is a good strategy for mental health promotion among this population because it allows overcoming other barriers, such as transportation or quality of resources. Moreover, caregivers are always present in the children’s lives, which means that they can provide mental health support consistently.

Roy, A. L., Raver, C. C., Masucci, M. D., & DeJoseph, M. (2019). “If they focus on giving us a chance in life we can actually do something in this world”: Poverty, inequality, and youths’ critical consciousness. Developmental Psychology, 55(3), 550–561. Web.

Roy et al. (2019) introduce the concept of critical consciousness (CC) to interpret and change the systems that negatively affect economically disadvantaged youths. Through a mixed-method design study, the authors assess the types of issues that poor youth face and their impact on their mental health. As a result, Reese et al. (2019) report community violence, prejudice, world issues, and economic disparities as the problems most commonly cited by young individuals in distress who live in poverty. In the second part of their study, Roy et al. (2019) found that exposure to community violence and neighborhood income inequality were factors that predisposed youths to CC actions.

The paper by Roy et al. (2019) not only reviews the problems that youth living in disadvantaged neighborhoods face but also the CC actions and behaviors these individuals take to make a change. However, because the authors dedicate more attention to the social change actions, they do not explore the issue of mental health and disadvantaged youths in depth. One reason for this is that only 3% of the participants cited mental health problems as their CC actions’ focus. This finding may point to the under-recognition of mental health problems among economically disadvantaged youths.

References

Castrellon, E. (2010). An exploration of the social construction of race and racial identity: A project based upon an independent investigation. (Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton). Web.

Kodet, J., Reese, R. J., Duncan, B. L., & Bohanske, R. T. (2019). Psychotherapy for depressed youth in poverty: Benchmarking outcomes in a public behavioral health setting. Psychotherapy, 56(2), 254–259. Web.

Mowat, J. G. (2019). Exploring the impact of social inequality and poverty on the mental health and wellbeing and attainment of children and young people in Scotland. Improving Schools, 22(3), 204–223. Web.

Pedersen, G.A., Smallegange, E., Coetzee, A., Hartog, K., Turner, J., Jordans, M. D. & Brown, F. L. (2019). A systematic review of the evidence for family and parenting interventions in low- and middle-income countries: Child and youth mental health outcomes. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28, 2036–2055. Web.

Roy, A. L., Raver, C. C., Masucci, M. D., & DeJoseph, M. (2019). “If they focus on giving us a chance in life we can actually do something in this world”: Poverty, inequality, and youths’ critical consciousness. Developmental Psychology, 55(3), 550–561. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, July 10). Effects of Poverty on Mental Health. Retrieved from https://psychologywriting.com/effects-of-poverty-on-mental-health/

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"Effects of Poverty on Mental Health." PsychologyWriting, 10 July 2022, psychologywriting.com/effects-of-poverty-on-mental-health/.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Effects of Poverty on Mental Health'. 10 July.

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PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Effects of Poverty on Mental Health." July 10, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/effects-of-poverty-on-mental-health/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Effects of Poverty on Mental Health." July 10, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/effects-of-poverty-on-mental-health/.


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PsychologyWriting. "Effects of Poverty on Mental Health." July 10, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/effects-of-poverty-on-mental-health/.