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Family income and child cognitive and behavioural development in the United Kingdom: does money matter?

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  • Mara Violato
  • Stavros Petrou
  • Ron Gray
  • Maggie Redshaw

Abstract

This study investigates the extent to which family income is associated with an extensive range of child cognitive and behavioural outcomes in a cohort of almost 19 000 British children born between 2000 and 2001. Merging the economists' and developmental psychologists' approaches, it also attempts to identify the main mechanisms through which family economic resources translate into better developmental outcomes for children. The relative and joint relevance of three groups of mediating factors (parental stress, parental investment and other family‐related pathways), identified from the recent economic and psychological literature, are examined both in a cross‐sectional (‘mopping‐up’ approach) and in a panel data (fixed effects models) context. Results indicate a weak or absent direct effect of family economic resources on child development after controlling for potential mediating mechanisms. The study also identifies key mediating factors (e.g. maternal depression, a cognitively stimulating home environment, parenting practices and length of breastfeeding) that could be targeted by government initiatives in order to effectively improve children's intellectual development and behaviour beyond what income redistribution can achieve. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Mara Violato & Stavros Petrou & Ron Gray & Maggie Redshaw, 2011. "Family income and child cognitive and behavioural development in the United Kingdom: does money matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(10), pages 1201-1225, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:20:y:2011:i:10:p:1201-1225
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1665
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    Cited by:

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    2. Andrea M. Mühlenweg & Franz G. Westermaier & Brant Morefield, 2016. "Parental health and child behavior: evidence from parental health shocks," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 577-598, September.
    3. Jason Fletcher & Barbara Wolfe, 2014. "Increasing Our Understanding Of The Health‐Income Gradient In Children," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 473-486, April.
    4. Shamrova, Daria & Lampe, Joana, 2020. "Understanding patterns of child material deprivation in five regions of the world: A children’s rights perspective," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    5. Anne Nolan & Richard Layte, 2014. "Socio-economic Inequalities in Child Health in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(1), pages 25-64.
    6. Lucia Schiavon, 2020. "Maternal Postpartum Depression Effects on Child's Health," CHILD Working Papers Series 83 JEL Classification: I1, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    7. Fletcher, Jason M. & Wolfe, Barbara, 2016. "The importance of family income in the formation and evolution of non-cognitive skills in childhood," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 143-154.
    8. Srivastava, Preety & Trinh, Trong-Anh, 2021. "The effect of parental smoking on children’s cognitive and non-cognitive skills," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).
    9. Kasey S. Buckles, 2013. "Adoption Subsidies and Placement Outcomes for Children in Foster Care," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 596-627.
    10. Mari, Gabriele & Keizer, Renske, 2020. "Families of Austerity: Welfare Cuts and Family Stress in Britain," SocArXiv vdej8, Center for Open Science.
    11. Cooper, Kerris & Stewart, Kitty, 2020. "Does household income affect children’s outcomes? A systematic review of the evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 107029, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Cooper, Kerris & Stewart, Kitty, 2017. "Does Money Affect Children’s Outcomes? An update," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 103494, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Lin Zhang & Shinsuke Ikeda, 2017. "Intergenerational Transmission of Authoritative Parenting Style: Evidence from Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 1008, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    14. Oyserman, Daphna, 2013. "Not just any path: Implications of identity-based motivation for disparities in school outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 179-190.
    15. Jessica Meredith & Frank Neri & Joan Rodgers, 2013. "Family Impacts on Cognitive Development of Young Children: Evidence from Australia," Economics Working Papers wp13-05, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    16. Gary N. Marks, 2017. "Family Income Has Only Weak Effects on Cognitive Scores in Australia: A Comment on Khanam and Nghiem," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(2), pages 801-807, April.
    17. Mandal, Bidisha & Powell, Lisa M., 2014. "Child care choices, food intake, and children's obesity status in the United States," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 50-61.
    18. Kerris Cooper & Kitty Stewart, 2017. "Does Money Affect Children's Outcomes? An update," CASE Papers /203, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    19. Kerris Cooper & Kitty Stewart, 2021. "Does Household Income Affect children’s Outcomes? A Systematic Review of the Evidence," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 14(3), pages 981-1005, June.
    20. Sarah E. Johnson & David Lawrence & Francisco Perales & Janeen Baxter & Stephen R. Zubrick, 2019. "Poverty, Parental Mental Health and Child/Adolescent Mental Disorders: Findings from a National Australian Survey," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 12(3), pages 963-988, June.
    21. Jennifer K. Rea & Sharon M. Danes & Joyce Serido & Lynne M. Borden & Soyeon Shim, 2019. "“Being Able to Support Yourself”: Young Adults’ Meaning of Financial Well-Being Through Family Financial Socialization," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 250-268, June.
    22. Amelia Maika & Murthy N Mittinty & Sally Brinkman & Sam Harper & Elan Satriawan & John W Lynch, 2013. "Changes in Socioeconomic Inequality in Indonesian Children’s Cognitive Function from 2000 to 2007: A Decomposition Analysis," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 8(10), pages 1-9, October.
    23. Cooper, Kerris, 2020. "Are poor parents poor parents? The relationship between poverty and parenting among mothers in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 104686, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    24. Siti Fatihah Murtaza & Wan Ying Gan & Norhasmah Sulaiman & Zalilah Mohd Shariff & Siti Irma Fadhilah Ismail, 2019. "Sociodemographic, nutritional, and environmental factors are associated with cognitive performance among Orang Asli children in Malaysia," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(7), pages 1-15, July.

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