Increasing the Well-Being of Disadvantaged Populations: An investigation of the Meditating Effects of Self-Efficacy and Social Connections on the Relationship Between Low-Income and Well-Being

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



A breadth of literature in psychology and economics have explored the nuanced relationship between income and well being and while contradictory results have emerged, one finding has been robust -- low income is linked to lower wellbeing. This paper will explore the psychological areas of leverage, specifically self-efficacy and social support, which act as buffers between low income and wellbeing. Data was used from a longitudinal study to asses the mediating effects of self-efficacy and social connections on low-income individuals. The current study used data collected from 668 urban black youth between 1968-1994 from the Harlem Longitudinal Study of Urban Youth (HLSU). Questionnaires from each study were coded using an extensive codebook created in 2011 by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania into Access database. Once the data had been coded, a query was run to extrapolate the variables of interest. The data from HLSU was analyzed using multiple regression analysis. Results show that low-income individual’s well-being was not significantly effected by social connectedness and self-efficacy. Implications from these null results and directions for future research will be discussed.


low-income, social connections, self-efficacy, poverty, well-being


Well-Being/Flourishing, Other Topics


Empirical Study

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Date Posted: 19 December 2014