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Authors: Petersen, Julia
Hettich, Nora
Baumkötter, Rieke
Wild, Philipp S.
Pfeiffer, Norbert
Münzel, Thomas
König, Jochem
Lackner, Karl J.
Beutel, Manfred E.
Title: The burdens of poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic
Online publication date: 10-Feb-2023
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: Background: Individuals living at-risk-of-poverty have an increased risk of poor mental health. The pandemic and its societal impacts might have negative effects especially on this group widening the gap between rich and poor and also exacerbate gender gaps, which in turn might impact social cohesion. Aim: The objective of this longitudinal study was to determine if people living at-risk-of-poverty were more vulnerable to economic and psychosocial impacts of the pandemic and showed poorer mental health. Moreover, gender differences were analyzed. Method: We drew data from a sample of N = 10,250 respondents of two time points (T1 starting from October 2020, T2 starting from March 2021) of the Gutenberg COVID-19 Study. We tested for differences between people living at-risk-of-poverty and more affluent respondents regarding economic impacts, psychosocial stressors, as well as depressiveness, anxiety and loneliness, by comparing mean and distributional differences. To test for significant discrepancy, we opted for chi-square- and t-tests. Results: The analysis sample compromised N = 8,100 individuals of which 4,2% could be classified as living at-risk-of-poverty. 23% of respondents living at-risk-of-poverty had a decrease in income since the beginning of the pandemic–twice as many as those not living at-risk-of-poverty, who reported more often an increase in income. Less affluent individuals reported a decrease in working hours, while more affluent people reported an increase. Between our survey time points, we found a significant decrease in these economic impacts. Gender differences for economic changes were only found for more affluent women who worked more hours with no change in income. Less affluent respondents were more impacted by psychosocial stressors, depressiveness, anxiety, and loneliness. Gender differences were found particularly with regard to care responsibilities. Discussion: Our results indicate a widening in the gap between the rich and the poor at the beginning of the pandemic. Gender differences concerning economic changes affect more affluent women, but women in both income groups are more burdened by care responsibilities, which might indicate a heightened resurgence of gender role in times of crisis. This increase in inequality might have impacted social cohesion.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY
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Journal: Frontiers in sociology
Pages or article number: 995318
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Publisher place: Lausanne
Issue date: 2022
ISSN: 2297-7775
Publisher DOI: 10.3389/fsoc.2022.995318
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-G

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