Flouri, Eirini, & Midouhas, Emily
School Composition, Family, Poverty and Child Behaviour
University College London
1. To model the relationship between family poverty across early-to-middle childhood (ages 9 months to 7 years), in terms of both the duration of exposure and its timing, and child behavior (measured as internalizing and externalizing problems and prosocial behavior at age 7).
2. To explore the role of school composition—academic and socio-economic—in both predicting child behavior and moderating the effects of poverty on child behavior.
3. To examine gender differences in the moderated (by school composition) effect of poverty on child behavior.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
DOI # 10.1007/s00127-016-1206-7
The effects of poverty were strong and robust to adjustment for child and parent background characteristics, as well as school intake characteristics.
Neither the academic nor the socio-economic composition of the school moderated the effect of family poverty on children’s behavior in primary school. However, children attending schools with more disadvantaged socio-economic intakes had more internalizing and externalizing problems than their counterparts.
The cumulative effect of family poverty was significantly related to all three outcomes, and was robust to family and child controls and the MCS design variables.
The effects of chronic poverty and intermittent poverty relative to never being poor were significant on all three outcomes.
School Key Stage 1 scores did not interact with the number of sweeps in poverty to affect any child outcomes.
When measuring poverty in terms of timing, poverty at any age was associated with more externalizing and internalizing problems and less prosocial behavior.
Relative to White children, Indian, Black, Pakistani/Bangladeshi and ‘other ethnic’ children had fewer externalizing problems. Black and ‘other ethnic’ children had higher prosocial behavior scores than White children. General intelligence was related to all three outcomes.
Cumulative poverty was related to an increase in internalizing and externalizing problems, and a decrease in prosocial behavior. Chronic or intermittent poverty was related to an increase in externalizing and internalizing problems and to a decrease in prosocial behavior. Poverty experienced at any of the three ages (9 months, 3 or 5 years) was associated with an increase in
externalizing and internalizing problems.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Behavior, Composition, English, Math, Poverty, SES Composition, Science
Method of Analysis:
Fixed Effects Regression Models
Children 9 months old, 3, 5 and 7 years old
Unit of Analysis:
MCS Millennium Cohort Study is a longitudinal survey of 19,244 families drawing its sample from all births in the UK over a year, beginning on 1/9/2000.They used data from Sweeps 1-4, taking place when the children were around 9 months, and 3, 5 and 7 years, respectively.
DV: School academic composition and student academic achievement Student academic achievement is measured by the Key Stage1 (KS1) scores (averaged across English, Math and Science)
Key stages are stages of the state education system in England. Key Stage 1 applies to ages 5-7 (years 1-2). Children are assessed in English, Maths and Science at the end of Key Stage 1.
School academic composition was measured with the school-average Key Stage1 1 (KS1) scores (averaged across English, Math and Science)
IV: School SES composition, Childs behavior, and Family SES
School socio-economic composition was measured with the percentage of pupils eligible for free school- meals (FSMs)
Child behavior was operationalized, as explained, as internalizing problems, externalizing problems
and prosocial behavior, measured at age 7 with the parent-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)
Family poverty was measured with a binary indicator of whether the family income was below the poverty line, set as equivalized net family income at 60 % of the national median household income.
Control variables include; Maternal education and psychological distress, child’s age, gender, ethnicity, and general intelligence.
Maternal psychological distress is measured with the 6-item Kessler scale and family structure.
General intelligence was measured with a regression factor scores were derived from principal components analysis of multiple age-adjusted ability assessment scores.