Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Haves and the Have Nots

The disparity between resources available to those who have compared to those who have not are remarkable, especially in light of evidence that suggests when individuals perceive their lack of options, it contributes to psychological ill health and sickness (Lever, Piñol, & Uralde, 2005). These same authors concluded that poverty's effects are insidious in that simply perceiving one's circumstances as precarious has a powerful and lasting effect on psychological well-being. However, positive self-perception is increased when individuals learn coping skills and gain a sense of control over their circumstances. In addition to your valuable recommendations, teaching coping skills might be an added benefit.

One fascinating discovery I found in Marks, Murray, Evans, & Estacio (2011) was that although disadvantaged neighborhoods had higher risks of disease than their advantaged counterparts, after controlling income, levels of education, and vocation, there was still a higher risk of disease (Marks, Murray, Evans, & Estacio, 2011). This speaks to the tremendous effects of psychological health and well-being on disease.


Lever, J. P., Piñol, N. L., & Uralde, J. H. (2005). Poverty, Psychological Resources And Subjective Well-Being. Social Indicators Research, 73(3), 375-408. doi: 10.1007/s11205-004-1072-7

Marks, D. F., Murray, M., Evans, B., & Estacio, E. V. (2011). Health Psychology: Theory, Research, and Practice (3rd ed.). London: Sage.

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