Subjective feeling of being poor in adolescence linked to risk of developing mental disorders

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the UK concluded that 11-year-olds who felt poorer than their peers were more likely to develop a range of psychological disorders in their later adolescence.

Such children, regardless of the real financial situation of their family, are more likely to be bullied at school.

It is known that adversity in childhood affects a person’s health in the future and can even lead to premature death from a variety of causes.

This conclusion was made by scientists from Denmark and the UK in 2020.

Research is regularly emerging that a dysfunctional childhood affects the risk of developing all sorts of diseases in older age – for example, cardiovascular diseases.

This time, scientists from the University of Cambridge (UK) have identified a relationship between feeling poor in early adolescence and the development of all kinds of psychological problems in older adolescents.

That is, it was not even about the real poverty of the child and his family, but only about the feeling of being economically disadvantaged.

The researchers assessed the psychological perception of economic inequality in 12,995 UK residents starting at the age of 11 and then again at age 14.

It turned out that adolescents who considered themselves poorer than their peers had six to eight percent lower self-esteem compared to those who did not think so (the real well-being of the families of these children was not taken into account).

In addition, these adolescents were observed to have anxiety and other behavioral problems associated with anger and hyperactivity. These children were more likely to be bullied at school.

Although by age 14 the victimization rate previously reported by children had declined, those who considered themselves poorer at age 11 were still more likely to be victims of school bullying.

Feeling poorer increased the risk that such a child would be bullied by three to five percent.

At the same time, it is important to note that the majority of the children surveyed did not feel any economic inequality, regardless of the real financial situation of their family.


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