Demography

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 455–483 | Cite as

Intrayear Household Income Dynamics and Adolescent School Behavior

  • Lisa A. Gennetian
  • Sharon Wolf
  • Heather D. Hill
  • Pamela A. Morris
Article

Abstract

Economic life for most American households is quite dynamic. Such income instability is an understudied aspect of households’ economic contexts that may have distinct consequences for children. We examine the empirical relationship between household income instability, as measured by intrayear income change, and adolescent school behavior outcomes using a nationally representative sample of households with adolescents from the Survey of Income and Program Participation 2004 panel. We find an unfavorable relationship between income instability and adolescent school behaviors after controlling for income level and a large set of child and family characteristics. Income instability is associated with a lower likelihood of adolescents being highly engaged in school across the income spectrum and predicts adolescent expulsions and suspensions, particularly among low-income, older, and racial minority adolescents.

Keywords

Household income Income dynamics Adolescent school behavior SIPP data 

References

  1. Aber, L., Morris, P., & Raver, C. (2012). Children, families and poverty: Definitions, trends, emerging science and implications for policy. Social Policy Report, 26(3), 1–19.Google Scholar
  2. Ackerman, B. P., Kogos, J., Youngstrom, E., Schoff, K., & Izard, C. (1999). Family instability and the problem behaviors of children from economically disadvantaged families. Developmental Psychology, 35, 258–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adam, E. K., & Chase-Lansdale, P. L. (2002). Home sweet home(s): Parental separations, residential moves, and adjustment problems in low-income adoelscent girls. Developmental Psychology, 38, 792–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen, J. P., Aber, J. L., & Leadbeater, B. J. (1990). Adolescent behavior problems: The influence of attachment and autonomy. Pediatric Clinics of New America, 13, 455–467.Google Scholar
  5. Alspaugh, J. W. (1998). Achievement loss associated with the transition to middle school and high school. Journal of Educational Research, 92, 20–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ananat, E. O., Gassman-Pines, A., & Gibson-Davis, C. M. (2011). The effects of local employment losses on children’s educational achievement. In G. Duncan & R. J. Munrnane (Eds.), Wither opportunity: Rising inequality, schools and children’s life chances (pp. 299–314). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  7. Ananat, E. O., Gassman-Pines, A., & Gibson-Davis, C. (2013). Community-wide job loss and teenage fertility: Evidence from North Carolina. Demography, 50, 2151–2171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bane, M. J., & Ellwood, D. (1996). Welfare realities: From rhetoric to reform. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bania, N., & Leete, L. (2007). Income volatility and food insufficiency in US low-income households, 1992–2003 (Discussion Paper 1325-07). Madison, WI: Institute for Research on Poverty.Google Scholar
  10. Barr, M. (2012). No slack: The financial lives of low-income Americans. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  11. Becker, G. S., & Thomes, N. (1986). Human capital and the rise and fall of families. Journal of Labor Economics, 4, S1–S139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bitler, M., Hoynes, H., & Kuka, E. (2013). Do in-work tax benefits serve as a safety net? (Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper). Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  13. Brooks-Gunn, J., & Duncan, G. J. (1997). The effects of poverty on children. Future of Children, 7(2), 55–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brown, B. B., Mounts, N., Lamborn, S. D., & Steinberg, L. (1993). Parenting practices and peer group affiliation in adolescence. Child Development, 64, 467–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brown, E. D., & Low, C. (2008). Chaotic living conditions and sleep problems associated with children’s response to academic challenge. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 920–923.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cancian, M., & Danziger, S. (2009). Changing poverty, changing policies. New York, NY: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Celik, S., Juhn, C., McCue, K., & Thompson, J. (2012). Recent trends in earnings volatility: Evidence from survey and administrative data. The BE Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, 12(2). doi:10.1515/1935-1682.3043
  18. Clampet-Lundquist, S., Edin, K., Kling, J., & Duncan, G. (2011). Moving teenagers out of high-risk neighborhoods: How girls fare better than boys. American Journal of Sociology, 116, 1154–1189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Conger, R. D., & Conger, K. J. (2002). Reslience in Midwestern families: Selected findings from the first decade of a prospective, longitudinal study. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 361–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Conger, R. D., Ge, X., Elder, G. H., Jr., Lorenz, F. O., & Simons, R. L. (1994). Economic stress, coercive family process, and developmental problems of adolescents. Child Development, 65, 541–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Conger, K. J., Rueter, M. A., & Conger, R. D. (2000). The role of economic pressure in the lives of parents and their adolescents: The family stress model. In L. J. Crockett & R. J. Silbereisen (Eds.), Negotiating adolescence in times of social change (pp. 201–223). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Corpaci, F., & Wachs, T. D. (2002). Does parental mood or efficacy mediate the influence of environmental chaos upon parenting behavior? Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 48, 182–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Crouter, A. C., MacDermid, S. M., McHale, S. M., & Perry-Jenkins, M. (1990). Parental monitoring and perceptions of children’s school performance and conduct in dual- and single-earner families. Developmental Psychology, 26, 649–657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dahl, G. B., & Lochner, L. (2012). The impact of family income on child achievement: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit. American Economic Review, 102, 1927–1956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dahl, M., DeLeire, T., & Schwabish, J. A. (2011). Estimates of year-to-year volatility in earnings and in household incomes from administrative, survey, and matched data. Journal of Human Resources, 46, 750–774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Duncan, G. J. (1988). The volatiilty of family income over the life course. In P. B. Baltes, D. L. Featherman, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Lifespan, development, and behavior (Vol. 9, pp. 317–358). Hillsdale, NJ: Laurence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  27. Duncan, G. J., Brooks-Gunn, J., Yeung, J., & Smith, J. (1998). How much does childhood poverty affect the life chances of children? American Sociological Review, 63, 406–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Duncan, G. J., Morris, P. A., & Rodrigues, C. (2011). Does money really matter? Estimating impacts of family income on young children’s achievement with data from random-assignment experiments. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1263–1279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Dynan, K. E. (2010). The income rollercoaster: Rising income volatility and its implications. Pathways, 3–6.Google Scholar
  30. Dynan, K. E., Elmendorf, D., & Sichel, D. (2007). The evolution of household income volatility (Finance and Economics Discussion Series No. 61). Washington, DC: Federal Reserve Board.Google Scholar
  31. Dynan, K. E., Elmendorf, D., & Sichel, D. (2012). The evolution of household income volatility. The BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 12(2). doi:10.1515/1935-1682.3347
  32. Elder, G. H. (1974). Children of the Great Depression. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. Elder, G. H., van Nguyen, T., & Caspi, A. (1985). Linking family hardship to children’s lives. Child Development, 56, 361–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74, 59–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gennetian, L. A., Castells, N., & Morris, P. (2010). Meeting the basic needs of children: Does income matter? Children and Youth Services Review, 32, 1138–1148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gennetian, L. A., Duncan, G., Knox, V., Vargas, W., Clark-Kauffman, E., & London, A. S. (2004). How welfare policies can affect adolescents: A synthesis of evidence from experimental studies. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 14, 399–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gennetian, L. A., Seshadri, R., Hess, N., Winn, A., & Goerge, R. (2013). Running out and acting out: Food stamp benefit cycles and school disciplinary events among Chicago Public School students. (Working paper). New York: Institute for Human Development and Social Change, New York University.Google Scholar
  38. Gennetian, L., & Shafir, E. (2015). The persistence of poverty in the context of income instability: A behavioral lens. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. (in press).Google Scholar
  39. Gershoff, E. T., Aber, J. L., Raver, C. C., & Lennon, M. C. (2007). Income is not enough: Incorporating material hardship into models of income associations with parenting and child development. Child Development, 78, 70–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gottschalk, P., & Moffitt, R. (2009). The rising instability of U.S. earnings. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 23, 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Petersen, A. C. (1996). Transitions through adolescence: Interpersonal domains and context. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum.Google Scholar
  42. Gregory, A., Skiba, R. J., & Noguera, P. A. (2010). The achievement gap and the discipline gap: Two sides of the same coin? Educational Researcher, 39, 59–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hacker, J. S. (2008). The great risk shift: The new economic insecurity and the decline of the American dream. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Heckman, J. J. (2006). Skill formation and the economics of investing in disadvantages children. Science, 312, 1900–1902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hill, D. H. (1987). Response errors around the seam: Analysis of change in a panel with overlapping reference periods. In 1986 Proceedings of the Section on Survey Research Methods, American Statistical Association (pp. 210–215). Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association.Google Scholar
  46. Hill, H. D., Morris, P., Gennetian, L. A., Wolf, S., & Tubbs, C. (2012). The consequences of income instability for children’s well-being. Child Development Perspectives, 7, 85–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Holzer, H., Schanzenbach, D. W., Duncan, G. J., & Ludwig, J. (2007). The economic costs of poverty in the United States subsequent effects of children growing up poor. Washington, DC: Center for American Progress.Google Scholar
  48. Joliffe, D., & Ziliak, J. P. (2008). Income volatility and food assistance in the United States. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute.Google Scholar
  49. Kalil, A., & Ziol-Guest, K. M. (2005). Single mothers’ employment dynamics and adolescent well-being. Child Development, 26, 196–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kalil, A., & Ziol-Guest, K. M. (2008). Teacher support, school goal structures, and teenage mother’s school engagement. Youth & Society, 39, 524–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kalleberg, A. L. (2009). Precarious work, insecure workers: Employment relations in transition. American Sociological Review, 74, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Kasarda, J. D. (1993). Inner-city concentrated poverty and neighborhood distress: 1970 to 1990. Housing Policy Debate, 4, 253–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. KewalRamani, A., Gilbertson, L., Fox, M. A., & Provasnik, S. (2007). Status and trends in the education of racial and ethnic minorities (NCES 2007-039). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
  54. Keys, B. (2008). Trends in income and consumption volatility, 1970–2000. In D. Joliffe & J. P. Ziliak (Eds.), Income volatility and food assistance in the United States (pp. 11–34). Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.Google Scholar
  55. Le Menestrel, S. M., Tout, K., McGroder, S. M., Zaslow, M., & Moore, K. (1999). An overview and synthesis of the project on State-Level Child Outcomes. Bethesda, MD: Child Trends.Google Scholar
  56. Ludwig, J., Duncan, G. J., Gennetian, L. A., Katz, L. F., Kessler, R. C., Kling, J. R., & Sanbonmatsu, L. (2013). Long-term neighborhood effects on low-income families: Evidence from moving to opportunity. American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings, 103, 226–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Marcynysyn, L. A., Evans, G. W., & Eckenrode, J. (2008). Family instability during early and middle adolescence. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 380–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. McKernan, S.-M., & Ratcliffe, C. (2009). Asset building for today’s stability and tomorrow’s security. New England Community Developments, 2, 1–9.Google Scholar
  59. McLoyd, V. C. (1990). The impact of economic hardship on black families and children: Psychological distress, parenting, and socioemotional develoment. Child Development, 61, 311–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. McLoyd, V. C., Jayarante, T., Ceballo, R., & Borquez, J. (1994). Unemployment and work interrupting among African American single mothers: Effects on parenting and adolescent socioemotional functioning. Child Development, 65, 562–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Milligan, K., & Stabile, M. (2011). Do child tax benefits affect the well-being of children? Evidence from Canadian child benefit expansions. American Economic Journal, 3, 175–205.Google Scholar
  62. Mills, G., & Amick, J. (2010). Income volatility, savings, and material hardship (Ideas 42 Working Paper). Cambridge, MA: Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  63. Mistry, R. S., Biesanz, J. C., Chien, N., Howes, C., & Benner, A. D. (2008). Socioeconomic status, parental investments, and the cognitive and behavioral outcomes of low-income children from immigrant and native households. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 193–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Moffitt, R. A. (2012). The social safety net and the Great Recession. Stanford, CA: Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.Google Scholar
  65. Moffitt, R., & Ribar, D. C. (2008). Variable effects of earnings volatility on food stamp participation. In D. Jolliffe & J. P. Ziliak (Eds.), Income volatility and food assistance in the United States (pp. 35–60). Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.Google Scholar
  66. Moore, J. C. (2007, December). Seam bias in the 2004 SIPP panel: Much improved, but much bias still remains. Paper presented at the U.S. Census Bureau/PSID Event History Calendar Research Conference, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  67. Morris, P., Hill, H., L. Gennetian, L. A., Rodrigues, C., & Tubbs, C. (2014, November). Income volatility in U.S. households with children: Another growing disparity between the rich and the poor. Paper presented at the meetings of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, Albuquerque, NM.Google Scholar
  68. Newman, C. (2008). Income volatility and its implications for school lunch. In D. Joliffe & J. P. Ziliak (Eds.), Income volatility and food assistance in the United States (pp. 137–169). Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.Google Scholar
  69. Randolph, K. A., Roderick, A. R., Fraser, M. W., & Orthner, D. K. (2004). Examining the impacts of changes in maternal employment in high school completion among low-income youth. Journal of Family and Economics Issues, 25, 279–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Ribar, D. C., Edelhoch, M., & Liu, Q. (2008). Watching the clocks: The role of food stamp recertification and TANF time limits in caseload dynamics. Journal of Human Resources, 41, 208–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Romich, J. L. (2006). Difficult calculations: Low-income workers and marginal tax rates. Social Science Review, 80, 27–66.Google Scholar
  72. Ruhm, C. J. (2008). Maternal employment and adolescent development. Labour Economics, 15, 958–983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Seidman, E., Allan, L., Aber, J. L., Mitchell, C., & Feinman, J. (1994). The impact of school transitions in early adolescence on the self-system and social context of poor urban youth. Child Development, 65, 507–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Shah, A., Mullainathan, S., & Shafir, E. (2012). Some consequences of having too little. Science, 338, 682–685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Shin, D., & Solon, G. (2011). Trends in men’s earnings volatility: What does the Panel Study of Income Dynamics show? Journal of Public Economics, 95, 973–982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Steinberg, L., Lamborn, S. D., Dornbusch, S. M., & Darling, N. (1992). Impact of parenting practices on adolescent achievement: Authoritative parenting, school involvement, and encouragement to succeed. Child Development, 63, 1266–1281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Steinberg, L., & Morris, A. S. (2001). Adolescent development. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 83–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Teachman, J. D., Tedrow, L. M., & Crowder, K. D. (2000). The changing demography of America’s families. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 1234–1246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Wachs, T. D., & Evans, G. W. (2010). Chaos in context. In G. W. Evans & T. D. Wachs (Eds.), Chaos and its influence on children’s development: An ecological perspective (pp. 3–13). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wagmiller, R. L., & Adelman, R. M. (2009). Childhood and intergenerational poverty: The long-term consequences of growing up poor. New York, NY: National Center for Children in Poverty.Google Scholar
  81. Weitzman, L. J. (1985). The divorce revolution. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  82. Westat. (2007). Survey of Income and Program Particpation user’s guide (4th ed.). Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.Google Scholar
  83. Yeung, W. J., Linver, M. R., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2002). How money matters for young children’s development: Parental investment and family processes. Child Development, 73, 1861–1879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa A. Gennetian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sharon Wolf
    • 3
  • Heather D. Hill
    • 4
  • Pamela A. Morris
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute for Human Development and Social ChangeNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.National Bureau of Economic ResearchCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Research on PovertyUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Daniel J. Evans School of Public AffairsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Applied Psychology, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human DevelopmentNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations