Is poverty on young minds? Stereotype endorsement, disadvantage awareness, and social-emotional challenges in socioeconomically disadvantaged children
Socioeconomic disadvantage is associated with social-emotional difficulties, including internalizing and externalizing problems, as early as toddlerhood. The aim of the current study was to understand whether economically disadvantaged children's beliefs about the consequences and correlates of poverty (poverty stereotypes) and their beliefs about their personal economic disadvantage contribute to their social-emotional functioning. Interviews were conducted with 94 socioeconomically diverse 4- to 9-year-old children, whose parents reported on their social-emotional functioning and family socioeconomic disadvantage. As hypothesized, among relatively socioeconomically disadvantaged children, perceived disadvantage was associated with social-emotional functioning. The same relation was not found for relatively socioeconomically advantaged children. Socioeconomically disadvantaged children who endorsed higher levels of personal disadvantage had more attention problems and more anxious-depressive symptoms than socioeconomically disadvantaged children who endorsed lower levels of personal disadvantage. In addition, only among socioeconomically disadvantaged children (and not among relatively advantaged children) was negative stereotyping associated with attention problems. Socioeconomically disadvantaged children who endorsed more negative stereotypes had higher levels of attention problems. There was no evidence of an association between negative stereotyping and anxious-depressive symptoms and no moderation of this relation by socioeconomic status. Implications and directions for future research are discussed in light of several relevant theoretical frameworks, including stigma consciousness, status anxiety, and critical consciousness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
Heberle, Amy E. and Carter, Alice S., "Is poverty on young minds? Stereotype endorsement, disadvantage awareness, and social-emotional challenges in socioeconomically disadvantaged children" (2020). Psychology. 514.