ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (1): 66-80.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00066

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Qualitative research on the endogenous power mechanism for poverty elimination

FU Anguo1,2,ZHANG Zaisheng1,ZHENG Jianhong3(),YUE Tong4,LIN Zhaohong2,WU Na5,HUANG Xiting4()   

  1. 1 College of Management and Economics, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
    2 School of Management, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China
    3 Department of Psychology & Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Development and Education for Special Needs Children, LingNan Normal University, Zhanjiang, 524048;
    4 Research Center for Psychology and Social Development, Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing, 400715, China
    5 Hainan College of Economics and Business, Haikou 571127, China
  • Received:2019-03-01 Published:2020-01-25 Online:2019-11-21
  • Contact: Jianhong ZHENG,Xiting HUANG;


Poverty remains one of the most pressing and vexing issues facing the world today. Although progress has been made in alleviating poverty in China, more efforts are needed to manage the intractable generations that have been affected by poverty. Endogenous power is the core psychological resource for low-income individuals to move out of poverty. However, there is a lack of a research framework for the endogenous power of poverty elimination in the Chinese context, which may result in a scarcity of relevant empirical research and the neglect of psychological factors in the formulation of poverty alleviation policies. This study deploys qualitative research methods to explore the psychological structure and key influencing factors of endogenous power of generations of low-income individuals with a goal of providing proposals on psychologically targeted poverty alleviation.
The researchers utilized an intensity sampling method to obtain study participants, and grounded theory, based on in-depth interviews, was adopted as research methodology. Participants comprised individuals who had successfully (seven people) or unsuccessfully (ten people) pulled themselves out of poverty as well as poverty alleviation cadres (four cadres) from a deeply impoverished village on Hainan Island. This study attempts to construct an integral endogenous power depletion model for intergenerational poverty from the perspectives of endogenous power for poverty elimination and the integration of endogenous and exogenous driving forces. The study followed the standard procedure of grounded theory, and we analyzed the data with Nvivo 11.0. Based on grounded theory, preliminary analysis, generic analysis, and theoretical construction of the collected data were conducted. Inspections of the participants and non-participants were used to verify the research results’ validity.
The findings of the study fall into three categories. First, the “Three-factor Onion Model” with negative values, negative self-concept, and the behavioral tendencies of passive anti-poverty as the core factors was found to be the endogenous driving force of generations of low-income individuals. Second, perceived control loss as a psychosocial driving force is an important cause of the lack of endogenous power among those poverty-stricken people for generations, and the combination of a lack of market rationality and campaign-style poverty alleviation are external causes of perceived control loss. Third, under the influence of the construction of inner capacities, parenting capabilities become an important internal driving force, as they take an intermediate role during the promotion of endogenous powers to their offspring and help cultivate positive psychological resources for the family.
This paper attempts to place the internal psychological factors and external key factors that lead to generational poverty into a holistic research framework. Although some enlightening views have been obtained, the results are constrained by the complexity of the theme and the limitations of the data, and only a general exploration could be made. In the future, quantitative research methods may be adopted to verify the accuracy of the Internal Motivation Depletion Model for intergenerational poverty.

Key words: integral endogenous power depletion model, endogenous power for poverty elimination, psychologically targeted poverty alleviation, generations of poverty, grounded theory

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