Honors Theses

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Philosophy and Religion

First Advisor

Deborah Mower

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

More than 10% of people living in the United States are impoverished. These human beings are subjected to poor living conditions, experience increased mental and emotional stress, lack basic necessities, and are more susceptible to many health conditions. Lack of poverty awareness and understanding has contributed to the spread of misconceptions, the majority of which are damaging to the impoverished community. These misconceptions affect how impoverished individuals are viewed by health care professionals and influence the quality of medical treatment they receive. The Missouri Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) is an experiential learning tool that requires participants role-play a low-income individual and attempt to survive a month (four 15-minute periods) in poverty. CAPS was held on both March 30, 2017 and February 25, 2018 at the University of Mississippi in partnership with Student Housing and the McLean Institute for Community Action. This project served to measure whether beliefs and attitudes about poverty may be influenced by participation in CAPS. Results show that CAPS is a successful pedagogical tool, and based on its ability to increase understanding of poverty, this project suggests that other experiential learning processes be integrated into curricula for health profession students. By requiring health professionals to engage in CAPS, it is expected that they will be better equipped to provide quality and access care to their low-income patients.

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Philosophy Commons

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