Children Who Feel Less Fortunate Than Their Peers Experience Mental Health Issues

In Education

According to a recent study, kids who have trouble keeping up with their wealthier peers are more inclined to suffer from poorer mental health than children who consider themselves financially equal.

Feeling poor causes low self-esteem and anxiety 

According to researchers at the University of Cambridge, feeling poor can cause low self-esteem, stress, and behavioural difficulties like hyperactivity or rage issues. Conversely, people with stronger self-esteem and greater social skills considered their wealth equivalent to that of their peers; those who felt wealthy or poorer than their friends were more inclined to bully others.

Researchers draw a connection between their findings and how challenging it can be to feel like you belong when you’re struggling financially.

Lead study author Blanca Pierra Pi-Sunyer said that adolescence is a transition period when people establish a sense of self and utilize comparisons to evaluate themselves. An individual’s sense of belonging may be hampered by an individual’s awareness of economic standing in society at large and local surroundings. During teens, belonging is especially crucial for happiness and psychosocial functioning. 

Teenagers usually compare themselves with their peers

The researcher said that it is possible that experiencing any kind of difference at a period when belonging is crucial raises the chance of interpersonal issues like bullying. He added that the research suggests that wealth comparisons with peers might contribute to personal self-worth and a sense of social belief.

Teenagers frequently compare themselves to their pals in a variety of ways. Adolescence may involve a steady stream of worry about various topics, including popularity, appearance, and money worries.

Researchers analyzed apparent economic inequality within peer groups of 12,995 11-year-olds in the UK. In addition, they surveyed kids born between 2000 and 2002 and collected information on family income. 

Around 68% fewer people with low self-esteem than people with high self-esteem believed they were less fortunate than their colleagues. Additionally, they had a well-being score of 11% lower than people who believed they were on par with their peers’ incomes.

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