Chinese people's explanations of poverty: The perceived causes of poverty scale

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Existing studies of lay explanations of poverty in the social work literature are plagued with methodological problems. The psychometric properties of the 13-item Chinese Perceived Causes of Poverty Scale (CPCPS), which assessed four categories of explanations of poverty, were examined. Method: Chinese parents and their adolescent children from 229 families experiencing economic hardship were asked to respond to the CPCPS. Results: Results consistently showed that four factors were abstracted from the scale: Personal Problems, Exploitation, Lack of Opportunity, and Fate. The four related subscales were also found to be internally consistent, and there was some support for their construct validity. Conclusions: The present study suggests that the CPCPS possesses sound psychometric properties. The findings also point out the importance of empirically demonstrating the existence of measures assessing different constructs when social work practitioners and researchers examine lay explanations of poverty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-640
Number of pages19
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Beliefs
  • Causes of poverty
  • Chinese
  • Poor families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)


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