Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

The Consequences of Growing Up Poor

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

The Consequences of Growing Up Poor

Article excerpt

The Consequences of Growing Up Poor. Greg J. Duncan & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn (Eds.). New York: Russell Sage Foundation. 1997. 640 pp. ISBN 0-87154-133-2. $49.95 cloth.

Greg Duncan and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn explore "the consequences of growing up poor, as well as the mechanisms through which poverty influences children" (p. 1). The book is organized around three key topics: the consequences of income poverty for children and youth, whether links between income poverty and child well-being are due to income or to other family conditions, and how income poverty influences children beyond the lack of purchasing power. The chapters in the book are a coordinated effort to explore these issues through research findings, and they offer implications for public policy.

The text begins with a description of poverty trends in America and a review of the literature on the impact of family structure and income on the well-being of children. This is followed by a series of studies focused on family income and its relationship to child development. These studies, many longitudinal, cover several domains of child well-being (educational attainment and achievement, self-esteem, hyperactivity, fighting, cognitive performance) and all stages of the development life cycle (early childhood through adolescence).

Researchers in each of the studies were asked to perform a series of replication analyses that related children's outcomes to the same set of measures of family income, demographic structure, and other aspects of the socioeconomic status of the parental family. …

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