Advertisement

Childhood Economic Well-Being in South Africa: Construction of a Theoretically-Grounded Empirically-Derived Multidimensional Measure

  • Ashley TurbevilleEmail author
  • J. Lawrence Aber
  • Sharon L. Weinberg
  • Linda Richter
  • Alastair van Heerden
Article
  • 47 Downloads

Abstract

This study uses the bioecological framework and methodology to select items for and to test a multidimensional structure of a measure of children’s economic well-being in a multi-community sample of children (7–11 years) and their households (N = 1958) from KwaZulu-Natal, a poor and under-served region of South Africa. Economic well-being was assessed using questionnaires completed by children’s caregivers and household heads. Exploratory factor analysis of four random split halves identified three dimensions of economic well-being: Fiscal Appraisal (subjective experiences of access to/allocation of resources), Material Assets (durable goods and living environment), and Fiscal Capacity (traditional measures of poverty: income, expenditures, employment). Confirmatory factor analysis verified the higher order model of economic well-being with the three dimensions. Invariance testing using multiple group factor analysis indicated confidence for use of this measure with varying types of communities in South Africa. The results reflect the multidimensional nature of economic well-being. Thus, the often-used money metric measures of poverty likely paint an incomplete picture of children’s actual economic well-being. Because our sample consists of impoverished households, our measure of economic well-being is sensitive to variation at the deep end of poverty. Implications for theory and future research are discussed.

Keywords

South Africa Child poverty Child deprivation Child economic well-being Poverty measure Bioecological framework 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge The SIZE Research Group for their contributions to the project that made work possible.

Funding

NYU Global TIES for Children: Transforming Intervention Effectiveness and Scale provided the funding for the statistical package used in the analyses in this paper. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1R01HD055137) funded the SIZE project. New York University Abu Dhabi Research Institute funded Dr. Aber’s work with the project.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human Participants

The Research Ethics Committee at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in South Africa and the Institutional Review Boards at New York University (NYU) approved all study procedures. Data was collected after informed consent was obtained.

Supplementary material

12187_2018_9613_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 18 kb)
12187_2018_9613_MOESM2_ESM.docx (13 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 12 kb)

References

  1. Adler, N. E., Epel, E. S., Castellazzo, G., & Ickovics, J. R. (2000). Relationship of subjective and objective social status with psychological and physiological functioning: Preliminary data in healthy, white women. Health Psychology, 19(6), 586–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Africa Centre Demographic Information System. (2007). Household socio-economic survey (HSE5). KwaZulu-Natal: Africa Centre Demographic Information System (ACDIS).Google Scholar
  3. Alaimo, K., Olson, C. M., & Frongillo, E. A. (2001). Food insufficiency and American school aged children's cognitive, academic, and psychosocial development. Pediatrics, 108(1), 44–53.Google Scholar
  4. Alkire, S., & Santos, M. E. (2010). Acute multidimensional poverty: A new index for developing countries. United Nations development programme human development report office background paper, (2010/11). Retrieved from http://www.ophi.org.uk/acute-multidimensional-poverty-a-new-index-for-developing-countries/
  5. Allison, P. D. (2001). Missing data (Vol. 136). Thousand Oaks: Sage publications.Google Scholar
  6. Barbarin, O. A., & Richter, L. (2001). Economic status, community danger and psychological problems among south African children. Childhood, 8(1), 115–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barnes, H., Noble, M., Wright, G., & Dawes, A. (2009). A geographical profile of child deprivation in South Africa. Child Indicators Research, 2(2), 181–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bradshaw, J., & Finch, N. (2003). Overlaps in dimensions of poverty. Journal of Social Policy, 32(04), 513–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). Contexts of child rearing: Problems and prospects. American Psychologist, 34, 844–850.Google Scholar
  10. Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (2006). The bioecological model of human development. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1 Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 793–828). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Brooks-Gunn, J., & Duncan, G. J. (1997). The effects of poverty on children. The Future of Children, 7(2), 55–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cangur, S., & Ercan, I. (2015). Comparison of model fit indices used in structural equation modeling under multivariate normality. Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods, 14(1), 152–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carter, M. R., & May, J. (2001). One kind of freedom: Poverty dynamics in post-apartheid South Africa. World Development, 29(12), 1987–2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cluver, L., & Orkin, M. (2009). Cumulative risk and AIDS-orphanhood: Interactions of stigma, bullying and poverty on child mental health in South Africa. Social Science & Medicine, 69(8), 1186–1193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cluver, L., Gardner, F., & Operario, D. (2009). Poverty and psychological health among AIDS-orphaned children in Cape Town, South Africa. AIDS Care, 21(6), 732–741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. De Lannoy, A., Leibbrandt, M., & Frame, E. (2015). A focus on youth: An opportunity to disrupt the intergenerational transmission of poverty. In A. De Lannoy, S. Swartz, L. Lake, & C. Smith (Eds.), South African child gauge 2015 (pp. 22–34). Cape Town: Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town.Google Scholar
  17. Department of Basic Education (2010). The SACMEQ III project in South Africa: A study of the conditions of schooling. Pretoria, South Africa: Department of Basic Education. Retrieved from http://www.sacmeq.org/sites/default/files/sacmeq/reports/sacmeq-iii/national-reports/s3_south_africa_final.pdf
  18. Downing, D. (2004). Witness to history: Apartheid in South Africa. Chicago: Heinemann Library.Google Scholar
  19. Engle, P. L., & Black, M. M. (2008). The effect of poverty on child development and educational outcomes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1136(1), 243–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Finn, A., Leibbrandt, M., & Woolard, I. (2014). The middle class and inequality in South Africa. Cape Town: Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU).Google Scholar
  21. Frame, E., De Lannoy, A., & Leibbrandt, M. (2016). Measuring multidimensional poverty among youth in South Africa at the sub-national level. A Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper Number 169. Cape Town, South Africa: Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town.Google Scholar
  22. Gericke G., Labadarios, D., & Nel, J. H. (2000). Hunger scale questionnaire: A measure of hunger. In D. Labadarios (Ed.), The national food consumption survey (NFCS): Children aged 1–9 years, South Africa 1999. Retrieved from http://www.sahealthinfo.org/nutrition/foodconsumption.htm.
  23. Hall, K., & Sambu, W. (2017). Income poverty, unemployment and social gran. In L. Jamieson, L. Berry, & L. Lake (Eds.), South African Child Gauge 2017 (pp. 105–110). Cape Town: University of Cape Town, Children’s Institute.Google Scholar
  24. Hall, K., Nannan, N., & Sambu, W. (2017). Child health. In L. Jamieson, L. Berry, & L. Lake (Eds.), South African Child Gauge 2017 (pp. 111–117). Cape Town: University of Cape Town, Children’s Institute.Google Scholar
  25. Harris, B., Goudge, J., Ataguba, J. E., McIntyre, D., Nxumalo, N., Jikwana, S., & Chersich, M. (2011). Inequities in access to health care in South Africa. Journal of Public Health Policy, 32(S1), S102–S123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Human Sciences Research Council. (2016a). We look out for our children, Household (SIZE) 2010–12. Msunduzi Municipality - KwaZulu-Natal (Version 1.0) [Dataset]. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council.Google Scholar
  28. Human Sciences Research Council. (2016b). We look out for our children, Caregiver (SIZE) 2010–12. Msunduzi Municipality - KwaZulu-Natal (Version 1.0) [Dataset]. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council.Google Scholar
  29. Human Sciences Research Council. (2016c). We look out for our children, Focal child (SIZE) 2010–12. Msunduzi Municipality - KwaZulu-Natal (Version 1.0) [Dataset]. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council.Google Scholar
  30. Kearney, C. A. (2008). An interdisciplinary model of school absenteeism in youth to inform professional practice and public policy. Educational Psychology Review, 20(3), 257–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kenny, D. A. (2015, November, 24). Measuring model fit. Retrieved from http://davidakenny.net/cm/fit.htm.
  32. Kingdon, G. G., & Knight, J. (2006). Subjective well-being poverty vs. income poverty and capabilities poverty? The Journal of Development Studies, 42(7), 1199–1224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Klasen, S. (2000). Measuring poverty and deprivation in South Africa. Review of Income and Wealth, 46(1), 33–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Leibbrandt, M., & Levinsohn, J. (2011). Fifteen years on: Household incomes in South Africa (no. w16661). Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Leibbrandt, M., & Woolard, I. (1999). A comparison of poverty in South Africa's nine provinces. Development Southern Africa, 16(1), 37–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Leibbrandt, M., Levinsohn, J., & McCrary, J. (2005). Incomes in South Africa since the fall of apartheid (no. w11384). Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w11384.pdf.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Leibbrandt, M., Finn, A., & Woolard, I. (2012a). Describing and decomposing post-apartheid income inequality in South Africa. Development Southern Africa, 29(1), 19–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Leibbrandt, M., Finn, A., Argent, J., & Woolard, I. (2012b). Changes in income poverty over the post-apartheid period: An analysis based on the 2008 National Income Dynamics wave 1 dataset. Stellenbosch: Universiteit Stellenbosch-University Retrieved from http://policyresearch.limpopo.gov.za.Google Scholar
  39. Lu, Y., Weinberg, S. L., & Scott, M. A. (2017). Multilevel linear modeling in higher educational contexts. In C. Sekolsky & B. Denison (Eds.), Handbook on Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation in Higher Education (2 nd edition) (Ch. 26). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. McLeod, J., & Shanahan, M. (1993). Poverty, parenting, and children's mental health. American Sociological Review, 58(3), 351–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998a-2010). Mplus user's guide (6th ed.). Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  42. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998b-2017). Mplus user's guide (8th ed.). Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  43. Noble, M., Wright, G., & Cluver, L. (2006). Developing a child-focused and multidimensional model of child poverty for South Africa. Journal of Children and Poverty, 12(1), 39–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Noble, M., Wright, G., & Cluver, L. (2007). Conceptualising, defining and measuring child poverty in South Africa: An argument for a multidimensional approach. In A. Dawes, R. Bray, & A. van der Merwe (Eds.), Monitoring child well-being: A south African rights-based approach (pp. 53–71). Cape Town: HSRC Press.Google Scholar
  45. Noble, M., Zembe, W., Wright, G., & Avenell, D. (2013). Multiple deprivation and income poverty at small area level in South Africa in 2011. Cape Town: SASPRI Retrieved from http://children.pan.org.za/.Google Scholar
  46. Noble, M., Zembe, W., & Wright, G. (2014). Poverty may have declined, but deprivation and poverty are still worst in the former homelands. Retrieved from http://www.econ3x3.org/article/poverty-may-have-declined-deprivation-and-poverty-are-still-worst-former-homelands.
  47. Orkin, M., Boyes, M. E., Cluver, L. D., & Zhang, Y. (2014). Pathways to poor educational outcomes for HIV/AIDS-affected youth in South Africa. AIDS Care, 26(3), 343–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Peters, D. H., Garg, A., Bloom, G., Walker, D. G., Brieger, W. R., & Hafizur Rahman, M. (2008). Poverty and access to health care in developing countries. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1136(1), 161–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Roberts, B. J. (2001). Chronic and transitory poverty in post-apartheid South Africa: Evidence from KwaZulu-Natal. Journal of Poverty, 5(4), 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Singh-Manoux, A., Marmot, M. G., & Adler, N. E. (2005). Does subjective social status predict health and change in health status better than objective status? Psychosomatic Medicine, 67(6), 855–861.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sonneborn, L. (2010). The end of apartheid in South Africa. New York: Chelsea House.Google Scholar
  52. Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (1993). Project for statistics on living standards and development [household questionnaire]. Retrieved from http://www.datafirst.uct.ac.za/dataportal/index.php/catalog/5.
  53. Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (2008). National income dynamics study 2008, wave 1. Retrieved from http://datafirst.uct.ac.za/dataportal/index.php/catalog/451.
  54. StataCorp. (2011). Stata statistical software: Release 12. College Station: StataCorp LP.Google Scholar
  55. Statistics South Africa (2016). Community Survey 2016 Statistical release. Retrieved from http://cs2016.statssa.gov.za/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/NT-30-06-2016-RELEASE-for-CS-2016-_Statistical-releas_1-July-2016.pdf.
  56. Statistics South Africa (2018a). Provincial profile: KwaZulu-Natal Community Survey 2016. Retrieved from http://cs2016.statssa.gov.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/KZN.pdf.
  57. Statistics South Africa (2018b). Quarterly Labour Force Survey Quarter 2: 2018. Retrieved from http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0211/P02112ndQuarter2018.pdf.
  58. Tabachnick, B., & Fidell, L. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  59. Turbeville, A., Aber, J. L., & Weinberg, S. L. (2018a). Applying a multidimensional framework to understand child economic well-being in South Africa. Manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
  60. Turbeville, A., Aber, J. L., Weinberg, S. L., Richter, L., & van Heerden, A. (2018b). The relationship between multidimensional economic well-being and children’s mental health, physical health, and executive function development in South Africa. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  61. van der Berg, S. (2008). How effective are poor schools? Poverty and educational outcomes in South Africa, CeGE discussion paper, No. 69. Retrieved from http://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/32027/1/558658229.pdf.
  62. van Heerden, A. (2016). Tools for the multilevel analysis of children’s well-being in a resource limited environment. Manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
  63. Woolard, I., & Leibbrandt, M. (1999). Household incomes, poverty and inequality in a multivariate framework (No. 99031). Cape Town: University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit Retrieved from http://www.dpru.uct.ac.za/sites/default/files/image_tool/images/36/DPRU%20WP99-031.pdf.Google Scholar
  64. Wright, G., & Noble, M. (2009). The South African index of multiple deprivation for children 2007 at municipality level. Pretoria: Department of Social Development Retrieved from http://saspri.org/SASPRI/wp-content/uploads/Docs/SAIMD_2007_report_30_September_2009.pdf.Google Scholar
  65. Wright, G., Noble, M., & Magasela, W. (2007). Towards a democratic definition of poverty: Socially perceived necessities in South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press Retrieved from www.hsrcpress.ac.za.Google Scholar
  66. Zhang, M. (2003). Links between school absenteeism and child poverty. Pastoral Care in Education, 21(1), 10–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.NYU Global TIESNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human DevelopmentUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.Human and Social Development Research ProgrammeHuman Sciences Research CouncilPretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations