IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v126y2015icp145-153.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Early childhood WIC participation, cognitive development and academic achievement

Author

Listed:
  • Jackson, Margot I.

Abstract

For the 22% of American children who live below the federal poverty line, and the additional 23% who live below twice that level, nutritional policy is part of the safety net against hunger and its negative effects on children's development. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides steadily available food from the food groups essential for physical and cognitive development. The effects of WIC on dietary quality among participating women and children are strong and positive. Furthermore, there is a strong influence of nutrition on cognitive development and socioeconomic inequality. Yet, research on the non-health effects of U.S. child nutritional policy is scarce, despite the ultimate goal of health policies directed at children—to enable productive functioning across multiple social institutions over the life course. Using two nationally representative, longitudinal surveys of children—the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) and the Child Development Supplement (CDS) of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics—I examine how prenatal and early childhood exposure to WIC is associated in the short-term with cognitive development, and in the longer-term with reading and math learning. Results show that early WIC participation is associated with both cognitive and academic benefits. These findings suggest that WIC meaningfully contributes to children's educational prospects.

Suggested Citation

  • Jackson, Margot I., 2015. "Early childhood WIC participation, cognitive development and academic achievement," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 145-153.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:126:y:2015:i:c:p:145-153
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.12.018
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953614008168
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Deming, 2009. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 111-134, July.
    2. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
    3. Dowd, Jennifer Beam, 2007. "Early childhood origins of the income/health gradient: The role of maternal health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 1202-1213, September.
    4. Rossin-Slater, Maya, 2013. "WIC in your neighborhood: New evidence on the impacts of geographic access to clinics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 51-69.
    5. Matthew Blackwell & Stefano Iacus & Gary King & Giuseppe Porro, 2009. "cem: Coarsened exact matching in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(4), pages 524-546, December.
    6. Brian Finch, 2003. "Early origins of the gradient: the relationship between socioeconomic status and infant mortality in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(4), pages 675-699, November.
    7. Palloni, Alberto & Milesi, Carolina & White, Robert G. & Turner, Alyn, 2009. "Early childhood health, reproduction of economic inequalities and the persistence of health and mortality differentials," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1574-1582, May.
    8. Schmeer, Kammi K., 2012. "Early childhood economic disadvantage and the health of Hispanic children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1523-1530.
    9. Reiss, Franziska, 2013. "Socioeconomic inequalities and mental health problems in children and adolescents: A systematic review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 24-31.
    10. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1983:73:6:695-697_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Oliveira, Victor & Frazao, Elizabeth, 2009. "The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2009 Edition," Economic Research Report 55839, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    12. Chen, Edith & Martin, Andrew D. & Matthews, Karen A., 2006. "Socioeconomic status and health: Do gradients differ within childhood and adolescence?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(9), pages 2161-2170, May.
    13. Marianne P. Bitler & Janet Currie, 2005. "Does WIC work? The effects of WIC on pregnancy and birth outcomes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 73-91.
    14. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2002:92:5:799-804_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jackson, Margot I. & Mayne, Patrick, 2016. "Child access to the nutritional safety net during and after the Great Recession: The case of WIC," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 197-207.
    2. Hanks, Andrew S. & Gunther, Carolyn & Lillard, Dean & Scharff, Robert L., 2016. "From Paper to Plastic: Understanding the Impact of EBT on WIC Recipient Behavior," 2017 Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 6-8, 2017, Chicago, Illinois 251834, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:126:y:2015:i:c:p:145-153. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.