Mounting research now clearly establishes that socioeconomic disadvantage has a profound, negative impact on young children's healthy development and school readiness. Most research to date has focused on income-based poverty and has neglected other crucial features of family socioeconomic well-being, including a family's experience of financial hardship, levels of wealth and debts, and levels of human capital. The present study improves upon existing literature by: (1) capitalizing on the strengths of a large, nationally representative, and longitudinal data set (the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort) with supplements from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics; (2) describing the dynamic nature of dual components of family socioeconomic disadvantage, namely family income and family financial hardship; and (3) testing competing hypotheses about why and how family income and financial hardship affects children's outcomes. Drawing from our research team's diverse backgrounds in developmental psychology, sociology, economics, and empirical policy analysis, we propose to address the following set of aims:
Aim I : To characterize the parameters and patterns of family income trajectories in a nationally representative sample over the period of children's transitions from Kindergarten through 1st 3rd and 5th grades.
Aim II : To test a variety of alternative models of nonrecursive, transactional pathways between family socioeconomic disadvantage and exogenous parent characteristics.
Aim III : To evaluate several theory-based competing hypotheses that test whether and through what mechanisms family income and financial hardship affect children's developmental outcomes.
Aim I V: To examine whether the pathways identified in Aims II and III are moderated by neighborhood and policy contexts. Our goals in addressing these aims are to identify potential causal mechanisms by which family socioeconomic disadvantage affect children and to identify promising targets for future policy intervention.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Risk, Prevention and Health Behavior Integrated Review Group (RPHB)
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King, Rosalind B
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Schools of Social Work
Ann Arbor
United States
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Wagmiller Jr, Robert L (2015) The Temporal Dynamics of Childhood Economic Deprivation and Children's Achievement. Child Dev Perspect 9:158-163
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