Original Research

The psychology of poverty

Johan Janse van Rensburg
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 34, No 1 | a825 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v34i1.825 | © 2013 Johan Janse van Rensburg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 January 2013 | Published: 18 October 2013

About the author(s)

Johan Janse van Rensburg, Department Practical Theology, University of the Free State, South Africa


This article investigates the psychological experience of poor people and the pastoral responsibility to guide them towards poverty transition. A qualitative analysis of the narratives of three participants is compared to the enthralling history of Florcy Mabuza who in her book, Poverty mentality: The root of poverty, explains the dangers of a spiritual and emotional mindset that precipitates and feeds the plight of poverty. Using a literature study to interpret the narratives as well as a method of encoding, basic mindsets of poverty and factors that influence this mindset are identified. The study culminates in conclusions to encourage further research and pastoral involvement.


Poverty; pastoral care; poverty transition; qualitative research; encoding


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