Trauma of Poverty and its Psychological Impact: A Case of Kenya

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS)


Extreme poverty is a tormenting, dehumanizing and distressing daily phenomenon for the poor and vulnerable in society, which may cause extreme distress to the non-resilient poor hence a predisposing factor to trauma. The study argues that much as poverty and the associated trauma can be explained in economic terms, interventions ought to be more elastic, stretching beyond economic limits and hence, take cognizance of the psychological dimension whose effects and impacts cannot be underestimated. The study assessed how trauma arising from poverty is indeed traumatizing to the poor, marginalized and less resilient poor people in society. The researcher adopted a cross-sectional research design and triangulation method (mixes both qualitative and quantitative approach of research). The study areas were Nairobi and Nakuru Counties representative of the urban and rural setting respectively. The study population included social work practitioners, social work clients and key social work informants. The research study covered a total of 141 respondents (n=141). This comprised of 91 social work practitioners, 10 key informants and 40 social work clients. Data collection involved structured and semi-structured questionnaires and interview guides. SPSS (ver. 20 for Windows) was used for data analysis. The key findings of the study were; trauma of poverty was noted as a major issue among the social work clients by social workers and had a high prevalence rate of 64.8%. As such almost all social workers (94.5%) were in agreement that addressing trauma of poverty should be given key priority while addressing poverty related issues.




Trauma, Poverty, Trauma of Poverty, Resilience, Psychological Wellbeing