Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

For poorer children, living in a high-cost area hurts development

Date:
August 21, 2012
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
Researchers have found that young children in lower-income families who live in high-cost areas don't do as well academically as their counterparts in low-cost areas. The study used data from a nationally representative sample of more than 17,500 children at more than 2,000 schools who started kindergarten in 1998. Differences for lower-income families according to cost of living in the area of residence held even when taking into account a comprehensive set of demographic variables.

Young children in lower-income families who live in high-cost areas don't do as well academically as their counterparts in low-cost areas, according to a new study.

The study, by researchers at Child Trends and the University of California (UCLA), appears in the journal Child Development.

"Among families with incomes below 300 percent of the federal poverty threshold -- that's below $66,339 for a family of four -- living in a region with a higher cost of living was related to lower academic achievement in first grade," according to Nina Chien, a research scientist with Child Trends, who coauthored the study.

"This is the first study to show that income isn't enough," Chien added. "Cost-of-living differences also matter for children's development, particularly for children from lower-income families."

Researchers used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, a nationally representative sample of more than 17,500 children at more than 2,000 schools who started kindergarten in 1998. They estimated the relation among such factors as cost of living, family income, material hardship, parents' investments in their children's educational activities, as well as assessments of parents' psychological well-being (such as moms' reports of depressive symptoms and conflict in the marriage), parenting practices (such as warmth and having routines), and school resources.

Researchers then looked at these factors in relation to children's academic achievement (as measured by teachers' reports and tests of how well the children read and did math), and social-emotional development (as measured by teachers' reports of children's behavior problems and social skills).

In addition to the pattern for all families with incomes below 300 percent poverty, findings specific to families below 100 percent of the federal poverty level pointed to further differences. Among children who lived in families below 100 percent of the federal poverty threshold, those who lived in a higher-cost area (compared to those in a lower-cost area) had parents who made fewer investments in educational activities and went to schools with fewer resources.

"This makes sense," Chien notes. "For poor families already struggling to meet basic needs such as housing, utilities, and food, living in a higher-cost area meant that families had little left over to afford educationally enriching materials or activities for their children."

Differences for lower-income families according to cost of living in the area of residence held even when taking into account a comprehensive set of demographic variables. The pattern was not seen in children from more affluent families, suggesting that their academic achievement wasn't as sensitive to cost-of-loving variations.

"Many government assistance programs are applied by income and don't take into account variations in cost of living," Chien notes. "Our findings suggest that poor and lower-income families living in higher-cost areas may have a greater need for public assistance to offset the higher costs of basic expenditures."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "For poorer children, living in a high-cost area hurts development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120821094247.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2012, August 21). For poorer children, living in a high-cost area hurts development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120821094247.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "For poorer children, living in a high-cost area hurts development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120821094247.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins