The young people’s responses surprised the researchers, who said they were shocked by how many young people, regardless of gender, wrote about their inability to spend like their peers. Most of the essays also mentioned energy costs and inflation. More than half of the young people wrote about poverty-related stress, which was alarming. Even more was written about the negative emotions associated with poverty. The researchers noted that each piece of writing, regardless of length, was crucial to their study of youth experiences of poverty.
Some of the youth’s essays included statements such as “It makes me sad to ask my mom for anything because she always says she doesn’t have money. Sometimes I avoid hanging out with my friends so they don’t know I’m poor” and “I knew when I was a kid that we poor people. When I was six years old, I was stressed about our financial situation. I knew then that I wouldn’t get what I wanted, even if my mother wanted to give it to me. We always chose the cheapest option at the store, and sometimes products were removed at the checkout because we couldn’t afford them.”
The researchers stated that they were happy to receive feedback from young people as young as 15 years old. They also said that they were satisfied with the shorter writings because it was clear that writing was not necessarily easy for young people.
Previously, the Everyday experiences of poverty survey was aimed at adult respondents. At the time, respondents were believed to be wealthy poor people who could express their experiences in writing. The researchers said some of the young people’s essays were like that, but most were not. Therefore, they believe they have reached the voices of young people who are not heard in their society.
Source: The Nordic Page