Beyond a deficiencies approach: Towards a more integral representation of the everyday life of children growing up in contexts of poverty

Asia Sarti*, Christine Dedding, Joske F.G. Bunders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The research on child poverty typically takes a deficiencies approach that focuses on material deficiencies, which are considered to have a profoundly negative impact on children’s well-being. Countering this approach, our research is based on a lifeworld orientation and explores children’s everyday life from their own perspective. Using a range of qualitative methods such as photovoice, focus group discussions, interviews, and participant observation, we gathered detailed information on the lives and well-being of children growing up in contexts of poverty. Our research provides insights into the complex and multi-layered issue of childhood poverty and suggests that support must take into account not only the negative aspects of poverty, but also those aspects that children consider positively. This begins with taking note of children’s best use of public and private resources that are already available to them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-833
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

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