The relationship of adult and childhood poverty with the individual psychological characteristics



In this paper examines the effects of low socioeconomic status in adulthood and in childhood on psychological characteristics, such as individual values, self-efficacy, self-esteem, psychological well-being and trust. The sample included people with low socio-economic status (namely poors) (N=162) and non-poor (N=188). Measurement of children’s socio-economic status was carried out by retrospective assessment. The results showed that values and self-esteem differ depending on the adult SES. The results revealed the significant effect of adult and childhood SES for trust and life satisfaction. The analysis revealed that adult status had a significant impact on trust only in the groups of those who did not experience poverty in childhood, i.e. the group with average levels of wealth in childhood, and the wealthy group. In conclusion, our study revealed the impact of childhood and adult SES on various individual psychological characteristics.

General Information

Keywords: SES, environmental factors, child poverty, adult poverty, self-efficacy, self-esteem, life satisfaction, trust

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The article was prepared within the framework of the HSE University Basic Research Program and funded by the Russian Academic Excellence Project ‘5-100’.

Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful for assistance in study implementation to Seger Breugelmans (Tilburg University).

For citation: Efremova M.V., Poluektova O.V. The relationship of adult and childhood poverty with the individual psychological characteristics. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2019. Vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 118–136. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2019100308. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Maria V. Efremova, PhD in Psychology, Leading Research Fellow, Center for Socio-Cultural Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga V. Poluektova, PhD Student, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany, e-mail:



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