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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of international peer reviewed journals

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Household income and sticky floors in children’s cognitive development: Evidence from the United Kingdom Millennium Cohort Study

AUTHOR(S)
Yekaterina Chzhen, Zlata Bruckauf

Published: 2019
While there is a rich literature on the socio-economic gaps in children’s average cognitive test scores in the United Kingdom, there is less evidence on the differences in children’s transitions along the ability distribution. Using data from five sweeps of the UK Millennium Cohort Study at the ages of 9 months, 3 years, 5 years, 7 years and 11 years, this paper analyses the role of household income, relative to other socio-economic factors, in influencing children’s chances of moving up or down the age-specific cognitive ability distribution as they grow older. Descriptive findings indicate a high level of variability between ages 3 and 11, but children from income-poor households are more likely to get trapped in the bottom of the age-specific cognitive ability distribution. Event history analysis shows that household income protects children from falling into the lowest-performing group without necessarily helping existing low performers improve. In contrast, parental education both protects children from slipping into low performance and helps them move up if they fall into it. While this is, perhaps, disheartening because household income is more amenable to policy than parental education, there is potential for income-enhancing policies to protect children from scoring poorly in the first place.
Multidimensional Poverty Among Adolescents in 38 Countries: Evidence from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) 2013/14 Study

AUTHOR(S)
Yekaterina Chzhen, Zlata Bruckauf, Emilia Toczydlowska, Frank Elgar, Conception Moreno-Maldonado, Gonneke W.J.M. Stevens, Dagmar Sigmudova, Geneviève Gariépy

Published: 2017
This study applied UNICEF’s Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) framework to adolescents (aged 11, 13 and 15) in 37 European countries and Canada using data from the 2013/14 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey. It is one of the first applications of MODA based entirely on data collected from adolescents themselves rather than from household reference persons on their behalf. Unlike most other multidimensional child poverty studies, the present analysis focuses on non-material, relational aspects of child poverty. Substantial cross-country variation was found in the prevalence of adolescent deprivations in nutrition, perceived health, school environment, protection from peer violence, family environment and information access. These single dimensions of poverty did not closely relate to national wealth and income inequality. However, when we looked at deprivation in three or more dimensions (i.e., multidimensional poverty), we found association with income inequality. In most countries, girls were at a higher risk of multidimensional poverty than boys. In addition, adolescents who lived with both parents in the household or reported higher family wealth were consistently less poor than other adolescents, in both single and multiple dimensions. The results of this study show the interconnectedness of social (family, school support) and psychological (health and violence) dimensions of poverty for adolescents in higher income countries. Children poor in the domains of family and school environment are also likely to be poor in terms of perceived health and protection from peer violence.
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