Good read: Poor boys fare worse in rich areas, suggests research

This post on the BBC-website has some troubling news:

Behaviour of boys from poor homes is worse when they grow up with wealthier neighbours, suggests research. By contrast, poor boys in “hard-pressed” areas had the lowest rates of antisocial behaviour, data on 1,600 children in England and Wales suggests.

Is this a plea for more segregation? Don’t think so. But prof Candice Odgers of Duke University in the United States, followed the children in a longitudinal study from birth to the age of 12 and expected actually to find the opposite results:

The authors found that in economically mixed areas, poorer boys engaged in more antisocial behaviour – such as lying, cheating, swearing and fighting.

But disadvantaged boys living in areas where three-quarters of the population was poor had the lowest rates of such behaviour.

Poor boys’ behaviour was worse in middle-income neighbourhoods and worse still in the wealthiest neighbourhoods.

The findings held true for boys from the ages of five to 12 – but the researchers found no sign of a similar effect on girls.

Prof Odgers said “relative position hypothesis” suggests children evaluate their social rank and self-worth based on comparisons with those around them.

So being poor may be more distressing to a child surrounded by others who are better-off.

Read the full article here.

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2 Comments

Filed under Education, Research

2 responses to “Good read: Poor boys fare worse in rich areas, suggests research

  1. Sander

    “Is this a plea for more segregation? Don’t think so.” Then what is the implication, in your opinion?

    (N.B. This is not a suggestive question, I’m honestly curious.)

    • Good question, I think the implication is that you need to have this in the back of your mind as possible situation. It’s also a higher possibility, it doesn’t mean it happens by definition, hence my interpretation.

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