Struggling to Stay Afloat: Dynamic Models of Poverty-related Adversity and Child Outcomes

Part of the National Symposium on Family Issues book series (NSFI, volume 5)


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.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Cybele Raver
    • 1
  • Amanda L. Roy
    • 2
  • Emily Pressler
    • 3
  1. 1.Office of the ProvostNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Applied Psychology, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human DevelopmentNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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