B4366 - Child poverty early life adversities and adolescent health and education outcomes - 03/07/2023

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Rebecca Lacey | St George's, University of London (UK)
Prof Laura Howe, Prof Morag Treanor, Dr Lisa Bunting
Title of project: 
Child poverty, early life adversities and adolescent health and education outcomes
Proposal summary: 

4.2 million (29%) children in the UK lived in relative poverty in 2021-22. Similarly, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as child maltreatment and parental mental health problems, are common in the UK. Child poverty and ACEs can have lifelong consequences for children. However, the extensive research undertaken to date on the effects of ACEs on lifelong health has largely ignored the role that child poverty plays, and vice versa. Consequently, the ways in which child poverty and ACEs are related to one another and, subsequently, to adolescent mental health and education outcomes, are not well understood. Partly, this is due to:

i) a lack of longitudinal studies which track the same people over time. Longitudinal studies enable us to investigate how child poverty and adversities relate to one another over time, how quickly a move into poverty affects different ACEs, and the importance of the timing and duration of early life experiences;

ii) a focus only on income-based poverty, when poverty is experienced by families as more than a lack of income;

iii) investigating a limited set of adversities (e.g. only child maltreatment), rather than taking a broader view of adversities to include parental mental health and domestic abuse, for example;

iv) assuming that all families experience child poverty and adversities similarly when we know that some families, e.g. those with more children or from ethnically minoritised groups, have higher risks of being driven into and remaining in poverty.

Impact of research: 
We hope that this research will help to raise the profile of child poverty as an important structural determinant of health that has far-reaching consequences. We plan a series of dissemination activities, including policy briefs, joint work with non-academic partners, podcasts, and will be working with a range of non-academic partners on this project.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 23 June, 2023
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 26 June, 2023
Social Science, Mental health, Statistical methods, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Parenting, Social science