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2 Bumps

Affluenza, just a rich kid problem?

The term affluenza is used to mean upper class parents who use their money and influence to get their child out of trouble, to say their child is above the law, or that rules do not apply to their children. The "condition" is not found in the DSM and is not recognized by the mental health community as an actual mental health disorder.

I know many kids from lower socio economic families who have similar parents. They do not hold their children responsible, they fight to get them out of all kinds of trouble, and they believe their child should not be accountable. Yet the main difference is money.

I have seen first hand where kids from more affluent homes are not charged with crimes or the school let them off with a lesser punishment. On the other hand kids from poor backgrounds, regardless of how the parent tries to get them out of it, are nailed to the wall. Sometimes given harsher punishments than what was actually called for.

Do you think that poor kids can "suffer" the same condition but without the money part? Do you think think having money goes a long way in what kinds of services, treatment, and consequences are offered? Should there be this double standard?

I remember the news story where two kids, both around age seven, stole cars from their parents. Joy ride. One was white and had money. It was laughed at as a good story. The other was black from a poor family and he was actually taken to juvenile court. There does seem to be a different standard.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:04 PM on Dec. 19, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (10)
  • I do. I think that certain parents no matter what they have to use will do anything to make excuses.
    Including discrimination.

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:10 PM on Dec. 19, 2013


    This is the latest in the "affluenza" buzz.. Sad

    Answer by midnightmoma at 12:17 PM on Dec. 19, 2013

  • Kids who want to use an afluenza defense, fine, you immediately get put into foster care. Taking you out of the environment that caused your issues. Your parents get charged with the crime you committed.

    It is the biggest bunch of bullshit and the fact that a judge actually let it be used as a defense is beyond fucking belief.

    Answer by kmath at 12:31 PM on Dec. 19, 2013

  • Rich people can afford a good lawyer which is much better than a public defender in most cases.

    Answer by jenny3344 at 12:33 PM on Dec. 19, 2013

  • They should just call it Millennialenza

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:35 PM on Dec. 19, 2013

  • Money has always been a divider, across cultures and generations. Good looks is not so different.

    Failing to teach a child responsibility and how to handle failure does a great disservice to them, rich or poor. The rich can just do it easier with high priced lawyers.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 12:35 PM on Dec. 19, 2013

  • There are so-called special people everywhere. Most of them feel entitled to classify themselves as such because of money, but there are other criteria. I'm not sure what all of the criteria are, but I loathe every single one of them.

    Answer by Ballad at 1:26 PM on Dec. 19, 2013

  • ^^^

    LMAO, I'm dying here!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:14 PM on Dec. 19, 2013

  • First, "affluenza" is just a term coined by a defense team (to include some mental health person). Second, a person who, without a shadow of a doubt, killed four people and was sentenced to probation because of a made up condition. I weep for humanity and the justice system that accepted that defense.

    Second, if you're truly interested in the HUGE disparity between the poor and the rich with regard to the penal system there are some very good resources out there:

    This link provides several areas of research within the body

    Bobo, Lawrence D., Victor Thompson. 2006. “Unfair By Design: The War on Drugs, Race, and the Legitimacy of the Criminal Justice System.” Social Research 73: 445-472.


    Answer by Brawn at 2:28 PM on Dec. 19, 2013

  • I'm with Kmath & Brawn on this one. That whole story disgusted me. By letting him off so easy, the judge just proved the defense's point. This kid STILL isn't suffering the consequences of his actions. It's sickening >:(

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 8:45 PM on Dec. 19, 2013

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