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Poverty, Maternal Depression, Family Status and Children's Cognitive and Behavioural Development in Early Childhood: A Longitudinal Study

Kiernan, Kathleen E. and Mensah, Fiona K. (2009) Poverty, Maternal Depression, Family Status and Children's Cognitive and Behavioural Development in Early Childhood: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Social Policy. pp. 569-588. ISSN 0047-2794

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Abstract

Improving children's lives is high on the UK policy agenda. In this study for a recent birth cohort of UK children we examine how three aspects of parental resources - income, mother's mental well-being and family status - in early childhood enhance or compromise their children's cognitive and behavioural development. As well as examining how these three aspects of parental resources separately and jointly affect children's well-being, we also enquire whether persistent poverty or persistent maternal depression are more deleterious for children's current well-being than periodic episodes of poverty and depression. We find strong associations between poverty and young children's intellectual and behavioural development, and persistent poverty was found to be particularly important in relation to children's cognitive development. Maternal depression (net of other factors) was more weakly related to cognitive development but strongly related to whether children were exhibiting behaviour problems, and persistent depression amplified the situation. Family status, net of other factors (most noticeably poverty), was only weakly associated with children's development.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 Cambridge University Press. This is an author produced version of a paper published in the Journal of Social Policy. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self archiving policy.
Keywords: DIFFICULTIES QUESTIONNAIRE, STRENGTHS, Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, Social Sciences (miscellaneous), Public Administration
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy and Social Work (York)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator York
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2009 11:28
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2014 00:01
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047279409003250
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118

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