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Children who feel that they are poor from friends may develop mental health problems


The picture shows a little girl sitting on the stairs.  Unsplash
The picture shows a little girl sitting on the stairs. Unsplash

A new study reveals that young people who spend more time with friends who are wealthier than themselves are likely to fare worse Psychological health of those whose company is economically equal.

Sociologists from the University of Cambridge found that feeling poor can cause many mental health problems such as low self-esteem, behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and anger as well as anxiety. Participants who had friends of similar financial status had higher self-esteem and better social behaviour.

Authors who have published their research in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, He believes that people who hang out with those in a higher socioeconomic status feel like they don’t belong and feel like they don’t fit in.

“Adolescence is an age of transformation when we use social comparisons to make subjective judgments and develop our sense of ourselves,” said lead author Blanca Beira P. Soner, a Cambridge Gates University researcher and PhD candidate in the university’s Department of Psychology. Media release.

Blanca added that a sense of economic prestige, especially in the immediate environment, can also be felt problem For a sense of belonging.

Belonging is particularly important for well-being and psychosocial functioning during adolescence.

She said that feeling different in any way can be harmful and also increase the chance of personal hardships such as bullying. Comparisons of wealth with others can especially contribute to “feelings of social and personal self-worth when we are young.”

While comparisons are unhealthy, younger people tend to compare themselves to their friends more often. Factors other than financial insecurity also bother teens such as popularity and attractiveness.

The authors examined economic inequality observed in the friend groups of nearly 13,000 adolescents in the United Kingdom. All respondents were born between 2000 and 2002 and collected data on their income.

The self-esteem of children who thought they were poorer than their friends was significantly lower (6%-8%) than those who felt equal. They were found to be 11% less well-off compared to children of financial equality.

These children were more likely to be bullied than others. On the other hand, those who felt richer than their friends were 5% more likely to be a bully.

Objectively, many studies indicate that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds experience greater mental health difficulties. Our findings show that the subjective experience of deprivation is also relevant,” Blanca also said.


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