Psychology 218: Psychology of Poverty

Credits 4

The United States today has a highly unequal distribution of wealth and income, with the top one-tenth of 1% of our population owning almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. Tens of millions of people live below official poverty thresholds in the U.S., including around 20% of children. What are the psychological implications of being poor in such an unequal society? How are the impacts of poverty and economic inequality evident in our mental health, physical health, family relationships, and personal identity? In this course, we will study: 1) psychological concepts of social class, 2) the effects of poverty across the lifespan on such topics as child development, parenting, mental and physical health, family relationships, and personal identity, 3) the psychological stigma of being poor, and 4) justifications for inequality. Assessment will include class discussion, frequent short writing assignments and a final paper.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Power and Equity (PEQ)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)