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Material hardship and child socioemotional behaviors: Differences by types of hardship, timing, and duration

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  • Zilanawala, Afshin
  • Pilkauskas, Natasha V.
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    Abstract

    Child behavior problems are associated with long-term detrimental effects. A large body of literature looks at the association between income and child behavior but few studies examine this association with material hardship, an alternative economic indicator. We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine the following questions: (a) Is material hardship associated with child socioemotional behavior and are there differences by developmental timing, (b) Are particular hardships (bills, utilities, food, housing, medical) more strongly associated with child behavior, and (c) Are there differences in the association between short-term and long-term material hardship and child behavior? We find that children in households experiencing material hardship score significantly higher on externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Additionally, we find that a mother's inability to pay bills, experience of utility interruption, and housing instability are adversely related to child behavior. We also find that the association between material hardship and child behaviors is stronger at age 5 and that chronic aggregate hardship has a stronger association with child behavior.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740912000230
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 814-825

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:4:p:814-825

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

    Related research

    Keywords: Material hardship; Child behaviors; Fragile families;

    References

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    1. Guang Guo & Kathleen Harris, 2000. "The mechanisms mediating the effects of poverty on children’s intellectual development," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 431-447, November.
    2. Iceland, John & Bauman, Kurt J., 2007. "Income poverty and material hardship: How strong is the association?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 376-396, June.
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      • Lawrence M. Berger & Christina Paxson & Jane Waldfogel, 2005. "Income and Child Development," Working Papers 938, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
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    13. Reichman, Nancy E. & Teitler, Julien O. & Garfinkel, Irwin & McLanahan, Sara S., 2001. "Fragile Families: sample and design," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 303-326.
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    Cited by:
    1. Geranda Notten, 2013. "Measuring performance: does the assessment depend on the poverty proxy?," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/13, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

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