25 Ways Psychologists Can Work to End Poverty

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the declaration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. In 2018, poverty is defined as living on an annual income of less than $12,140 for an individual and $25,100 for a family of four in the contiguous United States (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2018). While these numbers reflect Americans living in poverty as a whole, they do not adequately capture the millions living in deep poverty. Psychologists are vital to the effort of eradicating poverty – here are 25 ways they can help.

The Cost of Being Poor in a Warming World

f you don’t feel the impacts of climate change directly in your daily life, you probably aren’t poor.

Major news outlets regularly publish features on scientific studies by climatologists ringing the alarm on how many degrees global temperatures have increased, the rise in severity and frequency of natural disasters, and the dire future effects on the environment if human behavior does not change. However, most people aren’t climatologists or journalists. Climate change, for some folks, is an abstraction discussed over the dinner table or argued about in social media comment sections, or perhaps a notion thought about when presented with the choice of garbage or recycling bins.

Homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk

How to End the Criminalization of Poverty

This post continues our new blog series on poverty. As our nation reflects on its progress in fighting poverty over the last 50 years, this blog series will highlight how psychology can contribute further to this discussion. By Dionne Jones, PhD (Member, APA Committee on Socioeconomic Status) A New York Times article once stated, “It’s too bad […]

Wad of hundred dollar bills

Why Should Psychologists Care About the Ryan Budget?

By Roberta Downing, PhD (Senior Legislative and Federal Affairs Officer, APA Public Interest Directorate – Government Relations Office) This week, Chairman Paul Ryan of the House Budget Committee released his budget. What does this have to do with psychology? Some of the proposed policy provisions are troubling and could affect your career and your loved ones. […]

Cashier bagging groceries

Working Full-Time and Still Living in Poverty

By Roberta Downing, PhD (Senior Legislative and Federal Affairs Officer, APA Public Interest Directorate – Government Relations Office) In the State of the Union, President Obama announced that he would use his authority to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for all federal contractors. The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Why is […]


4 Ways Psychologists Can Serve Low-Income Families

By Ieshia Haynie (Program Coordinator, Office of Socioeconomic Status) Don’t let the Dow Jones’ record highs fool you. Widespread and persistent poverty remains a national problem. The Census Bureau estimates that 46.2 million people now live below the official poverty line; the largest number in 52 years. As if that weren’t disheartening enough, 16.4 million […]