Comparing income poverty gap and deprivation on social acceptance: A mediation model with interpersonal communication and social support

Yin ZHANG, Hung WONG, Ji-Kang CHEN, Vera M. Y. TANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


In many developed countries or regions, wide income disparities increase the difficulty in reducing poverty. In their day‐to‐day lives, poor people often feel less accepted by the society. The failures in communicating with social groups and receiving social support lead to negative consequences on individual well‐being and higher level of social exclusion. Based on the debate upon alternative approaches to conceptualizing and operationalizing poverty, this study attempts to verify a mediation model with data from a household survey (N = 1,202) in Hong Kong. The results of structural equation modelling reveal that deprivation is a more powerful indicator than income poverty for specifying the negative relations of poverty with interpersonal communication, social support, and social acceptance; the negative impact of deprivation on social acceptance can be reduced by two significant mediators of interpersonal communication and social support. The results are discussed in terms of directions for future research and policy and welfare intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-902
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Issue number6
Early online date22 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


Bibliographical note

Special Issue: Poverty and social disadvantage in Hong Kong

The work described in this paper was fully supported by a grant from the Central Policy Unit of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. 4003‐SPPR‐11).


  • deprivation
  • interpersonal communication
  • poverty
  • social acceptance
  • social support

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