Poverty Awareness: Development and Validation of a New Scale for Examining Attitudes regarding the Aetiology and Relational–Symbolic Aspects of Poverty

Shlomit Weiss-Dagan, Michal Krumer-Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study describes the development and validation of a new Poverty Awareness Scale (PAS). Existing scales of attitudes towards poverty focus on poverty’s aetiology, leaving other notions regarding poverty underexplored. Our new scale is based on the key role that relational–symbolic aspects of poverty play in current critical poverty knowledge and adds the examination of these aspects. The scale was distributed to 127 social workers and social work students before and after six different poverty-aware courses in Israel. For psychometric validation, we calculated the internal consistency of the construction of the scale dimensions and of the relationships between them. The scale evinced high levels of internal consistency. Construct validity was established through correlational analyses between our scale and a xenophobia scale. In addition, we found a significant difference in attitudes between the pre- and post-poverty-aware courses, with participants altering their attitudes in the direction of explanations that were more structural and exhibiting increased awareness of the relational symbolic aspects of poverty. The new PAS has the potential to be useful for service training and social work education.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021

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