Exploring the effects of poverty on the social and emotional development of adolescents (age 12-18)

Clarke, Bryony (2014) Exploring the effects of poverty on the social and emotional development of adolescents (age 12-18). BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Despite several government attempts to end UK poverty in recent decades, it remains a prevalent problem in the 21st century. Research into poverty reveals that adolescents from low socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to achieve less academically, compared to those from advantaged backgrounds. Low academic achievement is seen as a limitation to life chances, such as future employment prospects, and thus a contributing factor to a continued cycle of poverty. Problematically, this effect is at odds with government publications which repeatedly argue increased employment as the route out of poverty. This literature review is based on an array of secondary research, including: journals, government publications, books and online databases. This dissertation briefly discusses the changing concepts of poverty, from the 17th century to present, and explores government targets and welfare in place to eliminate poverty, and to decrease the harmful effects on children within affected families. Additionally, the compounding factors behind the relative ineffectiveness of many measures are examined. Reasons for increased chances of disadvantaged adolescents in relation to: underachievement, truancy and teenage pregnancy are addressed. Focusing on the period of adolescence (12-18), this dissertation explores the effects of poverty on social and emotional development, and self-identity.
    To summarise, research supports how the experience of poverty can have detrimental effects to an adolescent’s life chances, and their likelihood of creating the next generation of poverty. This dissertation recommends a change in government focus, moving away from financial welfare being seen as the way to end the cycle of poverty, and a refocus towards the aspirations of adolescents. It is by addressing the next generation, and government and educational initiatives designed to increase the aspirations of adolescents; that the UK will begin to see a break in the cycle of poverty, as the next generation aspire for a better future.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Education and Childhood Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2015 16:53
    Last Modified: 15 Jul 2015 16:53
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/17718

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