According to the results of a study published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, the poor face higher, and more toxic levels of stress. That is particularly evident among poor black and Hispanics with household incomes below the federal poverty level, which was $23,550 for a family of four in 2013.
A comprehensive multistate review finds that the poor face chronic stress from a variety of sources. The stress ranges from concerns regarding parenting to discrimination — and disproportionately affects poor mothers and fathers.
“Those who are poor have much higher stress than those who are not. In fact, being poor was associated with more of almost every kind of stress,” said Dr. Chris Dunkel Schetter, a professor of psychology in UCLA’s College of Letters and Science and the study’s lead author.
The report found that although people with higher incomes have lower levels of stress overall, stress levels aren’t reduced as much for higher-income African-Americans as they are for higher-income whites.
“The abundance of stress for poor parents is clear, potent and potentially toxic for them and their children,” Dunkel Schetter said.
“Both mothers and fathers who were poor and members of an ethnic or racial minority group reported higher financial stress and more stress from major life events like death and divorce than those who were either just poor or just part of a minority group.” Source: PsychCentral