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The effect of growing up poor on early child development in Flanders: an analysis of birth cohorts 2006 – 2009

Lieselot De Keyser (UGent) and Ronan Van Rossem (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
Objective. Early childhood is considered the most important developmental phase throughout life. Many studies have demonstrated that socio-economic deprivation of a household negatively affects the neo- and perinatal health of children. This paper investigates to what extent the socio-economic household background – measured by a poverty index and maternal education - influences birth characteristics and the physical development of young children during the first three years of their life. Method. The administrative IKAROS dataset registers longitudinal data on the development of nearly all children (0-3 years) in Flanders. The study uses data of children born between 2006 – 2009. Physical health is operationalized by 2 parameters : weight-for-age and height-for-age. Results. First, maternal education better predicts differences in physical development than the poverty index does. Second, despite that differences are relatively small, the size of the differences is more or less consistent during the measurement period. Third, weight development of children of low-educated mothers is during the first six months a little retarded. From then on, these children overcompensate with higher weight-for-age z-scores than children of higher educated mothers. Discussion. Despite all initiatives to reduce the effects of socio-economic inequalities on child development, a social gradient is still observable in the physical development of infants. As health problems early in life may be predictors of health status later in life, monitoring of all children must remain a policy priority.

Citation

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MLA
De Keyser, Lieselot, and Ronan Van Rossem. “The Effect of Growing up Poor on Early Child Development in Flanders: An Analysis of Birth Cohorts 2006 – 2009.” Child Poverty in Times of Crisis. 2016. Print.
APA
De Keyser, L., & Van Rossem, R. (2016). The effect of growing up poor on early child development in Flanders: an analysis of birth cohorts 2006 – 2009. Child Poverty in Times of Crisis. Presented at the 2016 Annual Conference of the Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research (CEPR) and the Austrian chapter of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP).
Chicago author-date
De Keyser, Lieselot, and Ronan Van Rossem. 2016. “The Effect of Growing up Poor on Early Child Development in Flanders: An Analysis of Birth Cohorts 2006 – 2009.” In Child Poverty in Times of Crisis.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Keyser, Lieselot, and Ronan Van Rossem. 2016. “The Effect of Growing up Poor on Early Child Development in Flanders: An Analysis of Birth Cohorts 2006 – 2009.” In Child Poverty in Times of Crisis.
Vancouver
1.
De Keyser L, Van Rossem R. The effect of growing up poor on early child development in Flanders: an analysis of birth cohorts 2006 – 2009. Child Poverty in Times of Crisis. 2016.
IEEE
[1]
L. De Keyser and R. Van Rossem, “The effect of growing up poor on early child development in Flanders: an analysis of birth cohorts 2006 – 2009,” in Child Poverty in Times of Crisis, Salzburg, 2016.
@inproceedings{7186196,
  abstract     = {Objective. Early childhood is considered the most important developmental phase throughout life. Many studies have demonstrated that socio-economic deprivation of a household negatively affects the neo- and perinatal health of children. This paper investigates to what extent the socio-economic household background – measured by a poverty index and maternal education - influences birth characteristics and the physical development of young children during the first three years of their life. Method. The administrative IKAROS dataset registers longitudinal data on the development of nearly all children (0-3 years) in Flanders. The study uses data of children born between 2006 – 2009. Physical health is operationalized by 2 parameters : weight-for-age and height-for-age. Results. First, maternal education better predicts differences in physical development than the poverty index does. Second, despite that differences are relatively small, the size of the differences is more or less consistent during the measurement period. Third, weight development of children of low-educated mothers is during the first six months a little retarded. From then on, these children overcompensate with higher weight-for-age z-scores than children of higher educated mothers. Discussion. Despite all initiatives to reduce the effects of socio-economic inequalities on child development, a social gradient is still observable in the physical development of infants. As health problems early in life may be predictors of health status later in life, monitoring of all children must remain a policy priority.},
  author       = {De Keyser, Lieselot and Van Rossem, Ronan},
  booktitle    = {Child Poverty in Times of Crisis},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Salzburg},
  title        = {The effect of growing up poor on early child development in Flanders: an analysis of birth cohorts 2006 – 2009},
  year         = {2016},
}