Pathways for addressing deep poverty

By Zara Greenbaum


The work on class underscores current efforts to better understand how socioeconomic status interacts with other factors to shape mental and behavioral health. To this end, part of the deep poverty working group’s task is to complete an extensive review of literature that may include information about deep poverty but is not explicitly labeled as such, including studies of long-term welfare recipients, people who are homeless or people in tribal communities. The goal is to determine what is known about those living in poverty versus deep poverty and to find out where the two groups diverge, as a foundation for future research and interventions.

“It’s important for us to clarify what is different about the experience of deep poverty versus poverty more broadly,” says Nia West-Bey, PhD, a member of the APA working group on deep poverty and a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), a national nonprofit that advances policy for low-income Americans. “Because if we don’t precisely name a problem, it can be hard to know when we’ve found an effective solution.”


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