Children Those who feel poorer than their peers are more likely to experience Psychological health cases and become victims bullying A new study finds that those who feel equal financially with the rest of their friends.
Psychologists at the University of Cambridge also found that young people who think they are poorer and those who think they are richer were more likely to bully others.
The team analyzed perceived economics inequality In groups of friends out of 12,995 11-year-olds in the UK.
While the majority of children analyzed saw themselves as being economically equal to their friends, 4% and 8% saw themselves as poorer or wealthier, respectively.
Young teens who thought they were poorer than their friends scored up to eight percent lower in self-esteem.
They also scored 11 percent lower in terms of well-being than those who saw themselves as being on par with others.
Children who felt poor were also more likely to experience “internal difficulties” such as anxiety, as well as behavioral problems such as anger or hyperactivity problems.
Additionally, this group was 17 percent more likely to report being bullied or abused than their peers who felt economically equal.
The study also revealed that feeling either richer or poorer increased the likelihood of children committing bullying by three to five percent.
This may be due to “feeling different in any way at a time when belonging is important,” said study lead author Bianca Piera Pi-Sunyer, a Cambridge Gates University researcher and PhD candidate in the university’s department of psychology.
This, in turn, “increases the risk of personal difficulties such as bullying.”
Pira B. Soner added: “Adolescence is an age of transformation, when we use social comparisons to make judgments about ourselves and develop our sense of ourselves.
“The sense of our economic status not only in the wider community, but in our immediate environment, may be problematic for our sense of belonging. Belonging is particularly important for psychological and social well-being and functioning during adolescence.”
She said the team’s research suggests that comparing wealth to others may contribute to “a sense of social and personal self-worth when we are young”.
The study also examined the cognitive processes between how people view themselves.
Having a more negative view of oneself can cause people to pay more attention to factors that “promote a lack of self-esteem,” which can have mental health effects.