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Special Issue "Poverty and Child Well-Being"

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Wen-Jui Han

Silver School of Social Work, New York University, New York, NY, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: child, adolescent, and family; immigrants; poverty and inequality; social policy analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Child poverty has repercussions not only for short-term hardship, but also for long-term health and development. Children who experience poverty, especially in the event that it happens at the early stages of their life or for a prolonged period, create the risk of a host of detrimental health and developmental outcomes. Evidently, the causes of child poverty are complex and multi-faceted, but there is proof that programs and policies that empower parents and raise family resources can advance child well-being. This Special Issue will offer readers a comprehensive look at: (1) the causes and effects of poverty on children’s well-being; (2) the contexts and mechanisms that affect the links between poverty and child well-being; and (3) policies and programs that may lead to improved child well-being. We welcome original articles that employ either quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods as well as critical reviews on this issue.

Dr. Wen-Jui Han
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • poverty
  • child well-being
  • child cognitive achievement
  • child social and emotional development
  • child health
  • mechanisms
  • public health
  • inequality

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Application Options of the Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI)—Assessing the Status of Sustainable Development and Establishing Social Impact Pathways
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1391; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071391
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The needs of children and their vulnerability to diseases, violence and poverty are different from those of adults. The Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI) was thus developed in previous work to evaluate the status of sustainable development for countries with a focus on
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The needs of children and their vulnerability to diseases, violence and poverty are different from those of adults. The Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI) was thus developed in previous work to evaluate the status of sustainable development for countries with a focus on children and triple-bottom-line thinking. This study proposes application options to put the SCDI into practice. The SCDI can be performed similarly to existing development indices, for comparing and tracing the performance of sustainable development on different geographic levels and between population groups. In addition, the SCDI can be integrated into existing social sustainability assessment approaches (e.g., Social Life Cycle Assessment and Social Organizational Life Cycle Assessment) and databases (e.g., The Social Hotspots Database) to take children into account and enhance impact assessment of social sustainability assessment approaches. As an exemplification, this study demonstrates the application of the SCDI framework to support the development of social impact pathways. Due to the importance of tertiary education in reducing poverty, a preliminary social impact pathway addressing completion of tertiary education was established. By putting the SCDI into practice, the SCDI can support decision making in child as well as sustainable development policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Benefits of Multidimensional Measures of Child Well Being in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1349; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111349
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
PDF Full-text (723 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent decades, measures of child well-being have evolved from single dimension to multidimensional measures. Multi-dimensional measures deepen and broaden our understanding of child well-being and inform us of areas of neglect. Child well-being in China today is measured through proxy measures of
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In recent decades, measures of child well-being have evolved from single dimension to multidimensional measures. Multi-dimensional measures deepen and broaden our understanding of child well-being and inform us of areas of neglect. Child well-being in China today is measured through proxy measures of household need. This paper discusses the evolution of child well-being measures more generally, explores the benefits of positive indicators and multiple dimensions in formulating policy, and then reviews efforts to date by the Chinese government, researchers, and non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations to develop comprehensive multidimensional measures of child well-being in China. The domains and their potential interactions, as well as data sources and availability, are presented. The authors believe that child well-being in China would benefit from the development of a multidimensional index and that there is sufficient data to develop such an index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle Poverty Dynamics and Academic Trajectories of Children of Immigrants
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1076; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14091076
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
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Abstract
Using Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999 (ECLS-K), we investigated the relationship between poverty and academic trajectories for children in immigrant families in the United States. We used family socioeconomic status (SES) which considers parental education, parental occupation, and family income
[...] Read more.
Using Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999 (ECLS-K), we investigated the relationship between poverty and academic trajectories for children in immigrant families in the United States. We used family socioeconomic status (SES) which considers parental education, parental occupation, and family income to define poverty in correspondence with the U.S. federal poverty threshold. Three dimensions of poverty were examined including depth (i.e., not-poor, near-poor, poor or extreme poor), stability (i.e., continuously or intermittently), and duration (i.e., for how many times in poverty). Our results indicated that living in poverty, particularly when it was extreme, volatile, and for long spell could compromise children’s reading and math achievements during the first nine schooling years. Children of immigrants were doing as well as, if not better than, children of native-borns in certain areas (i.e., math) or in facing of certain pattern of poverty (i.e., long-spell). However, deep poverty and volatile changes in family SES could compromise academic achievements for children of immigrants throughout their first nine years of schooling, a period holds important key to their future success. Implications to practice and policy as well as future directions were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
Open AccessArticle An Assessment of the Food and Nutrition Security Status of Weaned 7–12 Months Old Children in Rural and Peri-Urban Communities of Gauteng and Limpopo Provinces, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14091004
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1034 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed the food and nutrition security status of children receiving complementary food in rural and peri-urban communities. A group of 106 mothers from Lebowakgomo village and Hammanskraal Township, respectively, participated in the survey. Additionally, six focus group discussions were conducted per
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This study assessed the food and nutrition security status of children receiving complementary food in rural and peri-urban communities. A group of 106 mothers from Lebowakgomo village and Hammanskraal Township, respectively, participated in the survey. Additionally, six focus group discussions were conducted per study area to assess the mothers’ perceptions about children’s food access. The Children’s Food Insecurity Access Scale (CFIAS) was used to assess the food security status (access) of the children. The Individual Dietary Diversity Score (IDDS) together with the unquantified food consumption frequency survey were used as a proxy measure of the nutritional quality of the children’s diets. The age and weight of the children obtained from the children’s clinic health cards were used to calculate Weight-for-Age Z scores (WAZ) in order to determine the prevalence of underweight children. The findings showed that a large percentage of children were severely food-insecure, 87% and 78%, in rural and peri-urban areas, respectively. Additionally, Lebowakgomo children (23.6%) and Hammanskraal children (17.9%) were severely underweight. Overall, children’s diets in both study areas was characterized by nutrient-deficient complementary foods. Cheaper foods with a longer stomach-filling effect such as white maize meal and sugar were the most commonly purchased and used. Hence, the children consumed very limited amounts of foods rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins, which significantly increased the risk of their being malnourished. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Fitness, Fatness and Active School Commuting among Liverpool Schoolchildren
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14090995
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (334 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated differences in health outcomes between active and passive school commuters, and examined associations between parent perceptions of the neighborhood environment and active school commuting (ASC). One hundred-ninety-four children (107 girls), aged 9–10 years from ten primary schools in Liverpool, England,
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This study investigated differences in health outcomes between active and passive school commuters, and examined associations between parent perceptions of the neighborhood environment and active school commuting (ASC). One hundred-ninety-four children (107 girls), aged 9–10 years from ten primary schools in Liverpool, England, participated in this cross-sectional study. Measures of stature, body mass, waist circumference and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were taken. School commute mode (active/passive) was self-reported and parents completed the neighborhood environment walkability scale for youth. Fifty-three percent of children commuted to school actively. Schoolchildren who lived in more deprived neighborhoods perceived by parents as being highly connected, unaesthetic and having mixed land-use were more likely to commute to school actively (p < 0.05). These children were at greatest risk of being obese and aerobically unfit(p < 0.01). Our results suggest that deprivation may explain the counterintuitive relationship between obesity, CRF and ASC in Liverpool schoolchildren. These findings encourage researchers and policy makers to be equally mindful of the social determinants of health when advocating behavioral and environmental health interventions. Further research exploring contextual factors to ASC, and examining the concurrent effect of ASC and diet on weight status by deprivation is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Poverty and Child Behavioral Problems: The Mediating Role of Parenting and Parental Well-Being
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14090981
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (794 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The detrimental impact of poverty on child behavioral problems is well-established, but the mechanisms that explain this relationship are less well-known. Using data from the Families in Germany Study on parents and their children at ages 9–10 (middle childhood), this study extends previous
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The detrimental impact of poverty on child behavioral problems is well-established, but the mechanisms that explain this relationship are less well-known. Using data from the Families in Germany Study on parents and their children at ages 9–10 (middle childhood), this study extends previous research by examining whether or not and to what extent different parenting styles and parents’ subjective well-being explain the relationship between poverty and child behavior problems. The results show that certain parenting styles, such as psychological control, as well as mothers’ life satisfaction partially mediate the correlation between poverty and child behavioral problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle European Policies to Promote Children’s Rights and Combat Child Poverty
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080837
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
PDF Full-text (298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The upbringing of children relies heavily on shared responsibilities between parents and society. The Council of Europe Recommendation (2006) 19 on Policy to Support Positive Parenting and the European Commission Recommendation (2013) Investing in Children: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage, both aim at
[...] Read more.
The upbringing of children relies heavily on shared responsibilities between parents and society. The Council of Europe Recommendation (2006) 19 on Policy to Support Positive Parenting and the European Commission Recommendation (2013) Investing in Children: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage, both aim at supporting parents to care and provide for their children in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. By means of a document analysis this article examines what kind of parental practices and provision to parents the recommendations suggest to safeguard children’s rights in the family. Three findings are highlighted: first, both recommendations reflect a commitment to respecting children’s rights while at the same time acknowledging parents as children’s primary caregivers. Second, both recognize parents’ rights to work, while also recognizing the necessity of adequate income support if work is not available or income too low. Third, adequate resources are defined as a combination of universal policies and services, which guarantee a minimum level for all, and targeted measures reaching out to the most disadvantaged. The recommendations’ emphasis on children and parents as partners and on the families’ economic situations are valuable for future development of family and child policy and support programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
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