Rashmita Mistry: A Good Time to Talk About Poverty

UCLA Professor and students offer “Conversation Starters” for talking about poverty with kids in Psychology Today article.

In October, the United Nations celebrates “International Day for the Eradication of Poverty,” and the UN has named elimination of poverty by 2030 as one of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Reaching across the globe, poverty impacts hundred of millions of children and adults. Ten percent of the world’s population (700 million people) live in conditions of extreme poverty, surviving on less than US $1.90 per day. In the United States nearly 40 million people live in the poverty and the poverty rate in 2017 was more than 12.3 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.  Nearly one in five children grow up poor, and economic inequality—the gap between the richest and poorest individuals in a society—is higher than it has been in over 50 years.

Here at UCLA, Professor Rashmita Mistry and her students at the CUESI Lab study children’s experiences of social and economic inequality and its influence on their academic and social outcomes.  Their research examines the extent to which contextual factors, such as poverty, immigration, and social policies, influence family dynamics and, in turn, children’s developmental outcomes. They also investigate the development, consequences, and malleability of children’s beliefs about social and economic inequality.

Mistry believes that in a world where poverty is so prevalent, it is very important to talk with young people about poverty and its implications. And there is no better time to start than the UN’s   “International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, or as some call it “World Poverty Day, which is celebrated October 17, 2019.  In this wonderful article, just published in Psychology Today, Professor Mistry and her students make the case for talking with kids about poverty and offer some great suggestions for how to do so. 

To read, “World Poverty Day: Conversation Starters to Use with Kids,” visit this link.