Well-Being of Children in Working Poor and Other Families: 1997 and 2004. Measures of how well the child is developing


SIPP includes measures of child well-being that assess both their educational progress and their health.

Gifted status.  Analysis of white, black, and Hispanic, elementary school students found that minority students in gifted programs scored significantly higher on achievement measures than minority students in regular classrooms (Cornell, 1995). Female students were found to be just as likely to be high achievers as their male counterparts (Konstantopoulos, Modi, & Hedges, 2001). However, studies have found students of racial/ethnic minority groups or low socio-economic statuses to be underrepresented in gifted programs (Baker, 2001; Konstantopoulos, Modi, & Hedges, 2001). Research also shows the type of gifted program (i.e., whether special school, separate course, pull-out, or within-class opportunity) can influence students cognitive and affective outcomes (Delcourt, Cornell, & Goldberg, 2007).

Repeated a grade.  Children who have repeated kindergarten or a primary grade fall behind both academically and socially compared with students who have been promoted. Children who have repeated a grade in secondary school have lower cognitive achievement and much higher rates of school dropout (Heubert & Hauser, 1999). Repeating a grade increases the likelihood of student drop-out by two to three times of their peers who have been promoted (Jimerson, 2001). Additionally, low-income, African-American youth who repeated a grade during their early education are more likely to enter the workforce at a later age than their peers who were promoted (Leventhal, Graber, & Brooks-Gunn, 2001). Students who repeat a grade are also more likely to be unemployed, seeking work, on public assistance, or in prison (Alexander, Entwisle, & Dauber, 2003).

School suspension or expulsion.  Students who feel cared for by people at their school and feel like part of a school are less likely than other students to use illegal drugs, engage in violent activities, or become sexually active at an early age.  Such school connectedness is lower in schools that suspend students for infractions, such as alcohol possession, and lower still in schools that expel students permanently for the first infraction (McNeely, Nonnemaker, & Blum, 2002). Students who are repeatedly suspended have a greater likelihood of academic failure, negative school attitudes, repeating a grade, and becoming a school drop-out (Mendez & Knoff, 2003). School suspension has also been associated with persistent depressive symptoms in adolescents (Rushton, Forcier, & Schectman, 2002).

Overweight status.[iv]  Obese children and adolescents reported a significantly lower health-related quality of life than peers who were not overweight (Schwimmer, Burwinkle, & Varni, 2003). Their impaired quality of life was similar to reports by their peers with cancer (Ibid). Overweight children are more likely than other children to develop type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, orthopedic abnormalities, gout, arthritis, and skin problems (Gidding et al., 1996).  In addition, overweight children and adolescents can have immediate mental health problems and long-term medical complications, such as obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome (Zametkin, Zoon, Klein, & Munson, 2004; Daniels et al., 2005; Zametkin, Zoon, Klein, & Munson, 2004). Moreover, overweight children are more likely than other children to become overweight adults, who face problems such as reduced productivity, social stigmatization, high costs for health care, and early death (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001b).

Data on overweight status are available for 1997 but not for 2004.

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