The effects of deprivations on child development

Skinner, Curtis (1); Ciula, Raffaele (2) (2016). 'The effects of deprivations on child development' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

Theoretical and empirical literature suggests that childhood deprivations may lead to low wellbeing during the adolescent and adult age. Building on this issue, our aim deals with analyzing the effect of kids deprivations on their development over time. In particular, we investigate this relationship by using the Moore approach, that is by studying the effect of contextual deprivations in the childhood (which influence kid's wellbeing), such as being bullied, unsafe neighborhood, parent's low health and low education attainment, on outcome dimensions (that measure child wellbeing), which proxy development of young individuals in adolescence: social and emotional wellbeing, child's health and child's education achievement. Generally speaking, we want to test the dynamic persistent impact of kids' disadvantage in early periods on their later in life. In order to undertake this investigation we employ the P.S.I.D.C.D.S. dataset, which is a longitudinal survey database about households, individuals and children, for the year of 2002, 2005 and 2007. First, we analyze the incidence of kids (between 10 and 19 years old) who move from different levels of disadvantage over time, by employing the transition matrix technique. Also, we estimate the correlations between contextual and outcome deprivations over time in order to give a first inspection of the likely influence of the former variables on each measure of child development. Afterwards, we use a panel data analysis, a logit model, to assess the causal association between  each outcome deprivation and the contextual domains. In fact, contextual deprivations in the past should have some predictive role, some influence in the variation of outcome variables in 2007. Moreover, we add another variable which theoretically seems to be important for later life of young individuals, income poverty intensity, proxied by personal poverty gap. For example, high level of income poverty over time may reduce the ability of kids to obtain minimum level of achievements in some dimensions, such as education, (for example years of schooling, learning capacity) health status and the ability to make friends or have social relations with peers. The causal mechanisms of these outcomes may be channeled through low parenting and stress, housing problems, being bullied, living in a bad neighborhoods. Also, exploiting the panel data structure we estimate whether gender and ethnic group differences affect the level of outcome variables, moreover we want to test if the strength and the statistical significance of the association between contextual and outcome deprivations change by income quartiles. Finally, we want to analyze the influence of contextual deprivations in the past on the overall development index (made up of social and emotional wellbeing, education achievement and health status for kids) in 2007, in order to inspect the possible bigger role of some contextual deprivations outcome status. This fact may suggest that  some of the former domains affect more than one output variables in a persistent way.  Overall, the article may be useful for policy purposes, for example by suggesting the contextual deprivations which have a bigger impact for each aspect of adolescence development and for kids' whole outcome status. Moreover, it may shade some light of the effect of cumulated disadvantages in the the childhood on growth of children as well. 

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