Dynamics of Economic Disadvantage and Child Health Development

Award Year:
J. Lawrence Aber, Mary Clare Lennon
Child Health, Poverty and Health
Poverty takes its toll on health and development during childhood as well as in future life. Mary Clare Lennon, Ph.D. and J. Lawrence Aber, Ph.D. offer a new approach to measuring children's economic circumstances. In their project, Dynamics of Economic Disadvantage and Child Health and Development, the investigators focus on the economic trajectory of a child's family, exploring how the income of poor families changes over time, and how turning points in family life, such as unemployment, cohabitation, divorce, illness, and other events, affect family economics and child development. Drs. Lennon and Aber also examine how such health and social programs as cash assistance, food stamps, unemployment insurance, tax credits, Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and others lessen the severity of economic disadvantage. Their work should help identify children at risk due to family circumstances and policies that could reduce risk by helping families withstand economic downturns.