Struggling to Stay Afloat: Dynamic Models of Poverty-related Adversity and Child Outcomes
This chapter outlines several promising ways to capture the respective roles of poverty (as defined by falling below a federally defined threshold based on families’ total household income and family size), and co-occurring risks (such as job loss, residential, and household instability) in research on child outcomes in the context of adversity. As high-quality longitudinal data has become increasingly available and the methods for analyzing data are more sophisticated, our approaches to the measurement of poverty-related risk have become more complex. Exposure to poverty-related risk can be understood as dynamic, with consequences for children likely to vary as a function of timing, type, and context (e.g., households, schools, and neighborhoods). The impact of poverty-related adversity may also depend on both adults’ and children’s subjective experiences of material hardship and level of disadvantage relative to neighbors or peers. The authors draw upon a preschool experiment and subsequent long-term longitudinal follow-up of over 600 low-income children (the Chicago School Readiness Project or CSRP) to illustrate these approaches.
- Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (1998). The ecology of developmental processes. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology vol. 1: Theoretical models of human development (5th ed., pp. 993–1028). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Collins, L. M., & Lanza, S. T. (2010). Latent class and latent transition analysis for the social, behavioral, and health sciences. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Danese, A., Moffitt, T. E., Harrington, H., Milne, B. J., Polanczyk, G., Pariante, C. M., et al. (2009). Adverse childhood experiences and adult risk factors for age-related disease: Depression, inflammation, and clustering of metabolic risk markers. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 163, 1135–1143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Duncan, G. J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1997). Consequences of growing up poor. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
- Edin, K., & Lein, L. (1997). Making ends meet: How single mothers survive welfare and low-wage work. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
- Kalil, A., Leininger, L., & Meehan, P. (2013, November). Expenditures on children during the great recession. Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for Public Policy and Management, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
- McCoy, D. C., & Raver, C. C. (2013). Household instability and child self-regulation: Quasi-experimental links for low-income children. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
- McCoy, D. C., Raver, C. C., Burdick, J. D., & Sirkman, G. (2013). School neighborhood crime and selective attention to emotional stimuli: Findings from a low-income, urban, Black and Latino sample. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
- Newland, R. P., Crnic, K. A., Cox, M. J., Mills-Koonce, W. R., & Family Life Project Key Investigators. (2013). The family stress model and maternal psychological symptoms: Mediated pathways from economic hardship to parenting across the infancy to preschool period. Journal of Family Psychology, 27(1), 96–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Roy, A. L., & Raver, C.C. (2014). Are all risks equal? Early experiences of poverty and poverty-related risk and children’s future functioning. Journal of Family Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036683.
- Roy, A. L., McCoy, D. C., & Raver, C. C. (2014). Instability vs. quality: Residential mobility, neighborhood poverty, and children’s self-regulation. Developmental Psychology, 50(7), 1891–1896. Google Scholar