Professor Ingrid SchoonInstitute of Education
This study used data collected for the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) to assess the independent role of income in shaping young children’s outcomes.
Income shows an independent association with children’s cognitive development and behavioural adjustment, over and above a number of interlinked risk factors (maternal age, parental education, parental social class, parental worklessness, housing tenure, overcrowding, number of siblings, area deprivation, and family instability).
- The timing and persistence of income poverty matters, and persistent exposure to poverty is a major risk factor.
- Cognitive development (in particular verbal skills) is more strongly associated with income poverty than behavioural adjustment.
- Poverty is also associated with poorer maternal mental health, less effective parenting behaviour, and a reduced likelihood of using child care.
- Maternal mental health and parenting partly mediate associations between poverty and child outcomes, but also show independent associations with children’s outcomes at age 5.
- Other factors reducing associations between income and child outcomes include use of child care and social support networks in the local area.
Income matters for young children’s outcomes over and above other interlinked risks. In addition, the findings highlight the multiple risks that children and families living in poverty are facing, including problems in maternal mental health, parenting, access to child care and supportive neighbourhoods.
Children's Well-being: Does Family Income Matter? Evidence from the UK Millenium Cohort.Children_wellbeing_income_summary_v_FINAL.pdf94.25KB
Wellbeing of Children: Early Influences.Wellbeing_children_early_influences_v_FINAL.pdf849.65KB 04 January 13
Family Hardship and children's development: the Early Years. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies.http://www.llcsjournal.org/index.php/llcs/article/view/109/9505 January 10
Resilience in children's development: early influences.https://policypress.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1332/policypress/9781847424761.001.0001/upso-9781847424761-chapter-1403 January 12
Resilience in children facing poverty and family disadvantage: Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort.JBD_May11_Bulletin.pdf2.75MB
Family hardship, family instability adn children's cognitive development. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.https://jech.bmj.com/content/66/8/716.info
Temporal and contextual dimensions to individual positive development: a development-contextual systems model of resilience.https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-4614-0586-3_1309 March 11
Professor Ingrid SchoonPrimary researcherInstitute of Education
Director, WelfareNuffield Foundation