Volume 71, Issue 1 p. 188-196

Family Poverty, Welfare Reform, and Child Development

Greg J. Duncan

Greg J. Duncan

Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL,

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Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY

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First published: 28 January 2003
Citations: 499

Abstract

Our review of research suggests that family poverty has selective effects on child development. Most important for policy are indications that deep or persistent poverty early in childhood affects adversely the ability and achievement of children. Although the 1996 welfare reforms have spurred many welfare-to-work transitions, their time limits and, especially, sanctions are likely to deepen poverty among some families. We suggest ways policies might be aimed at preventing either economic deprivation itself or its effects.