Well-Being of Children in Working Poor and Other Families: 1997 and 2004: Research Brief. Differences in well-being between children in working poor families and children in non-working poor families in 2004

09/01/2008

The well-being of children in working poor families was better than for children in non-working poor families in 12 of the 17 measures available in 2004 that reflect child well-being or have been shown by research to be associated with child well-being.  Children in working poor families have an advantage over children in non-working poor families in the following areas:

How well a child is developing

  • Special classes for gifted students
  • Ever repeated a grade
  • Ever suspended or expelled from school

How well a child will develop

  • Parental aggravation in parenting
  • Mother involvement with child
  • Mothers educational aspirations for child
  • Fathers educational aspirations for child
  • Ever lived apart from parents

Interaction with community

  • Childs participation in extracurricular activities
  • Childs school engagement
  • Positive parental attitude toward the community
  • Negative parental attitude toward community

See Figure 2 and Tables 1-3.

Figure 2.
Selected well-being indexes by family work and poverty status, 2004

Figure 2. Selected well-being indexes by family work and poverty status, 2004. See text for explanation of chart.

In contrast, in 1997, children in working poor families had an advantage over children in non-working poor families only in the two variables measuring the parents attitude toward the community and were at a disadvantage in four measures.(5)

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