Psychology: Social and Educational Problems: Causes and Consequences of Poverty

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Social problems refer to the situations faced by the people in which achievement of genuine goals of a community or groups are not achieved due to difficulties at the level of system. People get harassed, live under disadvantaged conditions, do not get good education, and are subjected to discrimination and prejudice. These are examples of social problems. These problems have many aspects including social, economic psychological and historical and other solution requires efforts from many angles.


Poverty denies individuals and their family of basic rights such as equality, justice, dignity, health, basic comforts and personal security. Poverty defined in terms of objective poverty, which is lack of material belongings that is, lack of economic resources such as it is difficult to achieve an adequate level of living. Hence we can say that poverty divides the population between those who have an adequate level of living and those who do not. Subjective poverty refers to the perception and experience of poverty as felt by a person. Deprivation on the other hand refers to loss of opportunities and privileges that are normally available to the general population. It means lack of basic necessities for the survival of an individual. Poverty is basically an outcome of inequalities.

Causes and Consequences of Poverty

Deprivation, a lack of opportunity, reduces access to availability of resources and is due to poor economic conditions. The key consequences of poverty is

  • Malnutrition and development: Malnutrition influences both physical growth and psychological development.

  • Socialization patterns: Socialization patterns under poverty conditions are characterized by inadequate stimulation, poor or no schooling, lack of role models, and lack of social and emotional support from the peer group.

  • Personality development: Different personality patterns are suggested for the deprived and non-deprived groups.

  • Motivational consequences

  • Mental health

  • Psychological intervention

Some Other Social Problems

Some other social problems

Some Other Social Problems

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a chronic problem that involves compulsive drug seeking and dependence on it despite the fact that it has harmful effects on the individual. It is often difficult to understand as to why some people become addicted to drugs. It could be due to a combination of risk factors such as individual biology, socioeconomic status, peer pressure, stress, quality of parenting, role models, and age are some important aspects.


Dowry refers to the cash, gifts, property and material goods the man receives from the wife’s family at the time of marriage. Dowry was earlier a way of helping with the marriage expenses but now it has become a way of paying the groom’s family for taking on the burden of a woman.

School Dropout, Stagnation and Wastage

The right to education is a fundamental right. Yet we note that children who join school often drop out of schooling. Dropout rate is defined as the proportion of children who discontinue school after enrolling in the schooling system. Two additional concepts of stagnation and wastage are important in the educational setting.

These reasons fall into three categories, namely, socio-economic, psychological and educational. Efforts to decrease the school dropout rate are government programs such as National Literacy Mission, Sarv Sikhsha Abhïyan (Total Literacy Campaign) and Mid Day Meal Scheme.

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