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Psychology and poverty reduction: A global special issue

Carr, Stuart C.; Thompson, Miles; Dalal, Ajit K.; de Guzman, Judith M.; Gloss, Alexander; Munns, Lewis; Steadman, Alice

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Stuart C. Carr

Ajit K. Dalal

Judith M. de Guzman

Alexander Gloss

Lewis Munns

Alice Steadman


A “global special issue” on poverty brought together 9 international psychology journals during 2010 through 2013. The purpose was to highlight psychology’s contribution toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals are rooted in the “capabilities approach” and highlight the importance of fostering environments that support 3 core domains: health, basic education, and income. Here, we analyze what the global special issue contributed. As a whole the global special issue
provided an account of “how” psychology engages with poverty and poverty reduction. First, the global special issue, more than other research on poverty, was focused on lower- and middle-income settings. Second, while the content of the articles could be coded into 3 specific domains (health/well-being, education/development, and society/work), the vast majority of the articles straddled more than 1 category. Third, the contents of the global special issue could be organized in terms of the type of contribution: that is, practicality, theory, description, and advocacy. We highlight the importance of addressing wider situational and sociopolitical structures that constrain capability and potential, without losing sight of the person. Psychology might (a) concentrate resources on finding out what actually works to enable poverty reduction; and (b) apply what we know to ensure that research on poverty
reduction is more informative and compelling to community stakeholders, organizations, and policymakers. Such an “implementation science” could advance poverty reduction and human development.


Carr, S. C., Thompson, M., Dalal, A. K., de Guzman, J. M., Gloss, A., Munns, L., & Steadman, A. (2014). Psychology and poverty reduction: A global special issue. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation, 3(4), 215-237.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 18, 2014
Online Publication Date Aug 18, 2014
Publication Date Oct 1, 2014
Deposit Date Apr 20, 2016
Publicly Available Date Apr 20, 2016
Journal International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation
Print ISSN 2157-3883
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 4
Pages 215-237
Keywords psychology, poverty reduction, capabilities approach, UN Millennium Development Goals, international psychology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.


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