Socioeconomic Status and Child Development

Center for Applied Studies in Education, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock, Arkansas 72204, USA.
Annual Review of Psychology (Impact Factor: 21.81). 02/2002; 53(1):371-99. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135233
Source: PubMed


Socioeconomic status (SES) is one of the most widely studied constructs in the social sciences. Several ways of measuring SES have been proposed, but most include some quantification of family income, parental education, and occupational status. Research shows that SES is associated with a wide array of health, cognitive, and socioemotional outcomes in children, with effects beginning prior to birth and continuing into adulthood. A variety of mechanisms linking SES to child well-being have been proposed, with most involving differences in access to material and social resources or reactions to stress-inducing conditions by both the children themselves and their parents. For children, SES impacts well-being at multiple levels, including both family and neighborhood. Its effects are moderated by children's own characteristics, family characteristics, and external support systems.

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Available from: Robert H. Bradley, Jan 31, 2014
    • "Socioeconomic status influences both parenting behavior (Bornstein & Bradley, 2003;Day, 2011) and child outcomes (Day, 2011;Downer & Pianta, 2006;Duncan et al., 2010;Landry & Smith, 2011;Landry, Smith, & Swank, 2006;Sameroff, 2010). Children from low-income, minority, and/or low-education families are at increased risk for adverse outcomes (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002;Brooks-Gunn, Rouse, & McLanahan, 2007). Supporting the development of positive parenting behavior, especially for families at risk for maladaptive parenting, is critical in changing the cross-generational transmission of parenting styles (Conger, Belsky, & Capaldi, 2009;Shaffer, Burt, Obradovic, Herbers, & Masten, 2009) and in supporting optimal child outcomes. "
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    ABSTRACT: No instrument exists to measure parent beliefs about early social-emotional development, which is foundational for child outcomes. We developed and tested an instrument to measure parent beliefs.
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    • "The link is certainly plausible. Single parenthood is related to poor material circumstances , which predict poor child outcomes (Bradley and Corwyn, 2002). At the same time, single parents are subject to numerous stressors (other than low income, unemployment or low SES), such as conflict with partners and steep parenting demands, that could weaken their involvement in the community, and, in turn, the institutional and social supports available to the children. "
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the effects of single-parent family status and high parental socio-economic status (SES) on the trajectories of children's emotional/behavioural adjustment in early-to-middle childhood (ages 3–7 years). We also assessed whether these family characteristics interact with the equivalent neighbourhood characteristics of shares of single-parent families and high-SES adults in predicting these trajectories. Using data on 9850 children in England participating in the Millennium Cohort Study, we found that family status and parental SES predicted children's trajectories of adjustment. Even after controlling for these family factors and key child and parent characteristics, the neighbourhood shares of high-SES adults and single-parent families were related (negatively and positively, respectively) to child problem behaviour. Importantly, children of low-SES parents in neighbourhoods with a high concentration of high-SES adults had fewer emotional symptoms than their counterparts in areas with fewer high-SES adults. Surprisingly, the adverse effect of single-parent family status on child hyperactivity was attenuated in areas with a higher share of single-parent families.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Health & Place
    • "Low SES families are more likely to live in dangerous neighborhoods and to send their children to under-resourced schools (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997; Evans & Kantrowitz, 2002). These more proximal processes together are evidenced to mediate the associations between SES risks and children's intellectual development (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Socioeconomic risks (SES risks) are robust risk factors influencing children's academic development. However, it is unclear whether the effects of SES on academic development operate universally in all children equally or whether they vary differentially in children with particular characteristics. The current study aimed to explore children's temperament as protective or risk factors that potentially moderate the associations between SES risks and academic development. Specifically, latent growth modeling (LGM) was used in two longitudinal datasets with a total of 2236 children to examine how family SES risks and children's temperament interactively predicted the development of reading and math from middle childhood to early adolescence. Results showed that low negative affect, high effortful control, and low surgency mitigated the negative associations between SES risks and both reading and math development in this developmental period. These findings underline the heterogeneous nature of the negative associations between SES risks and academic development and highlight the importance of the interplay between biological and social factors on individual differences in development.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Developmental Science
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