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Children's Health Disparities in the US and the UK: The role of the Family

Document type: Projects: In progress/completed
Document language: English
Uploaded By: Allan Colver (allancolver)
Date Uploaded: 2012/01/11 15:18:10.167 GMT+1
URL to a webpage or document based online:

Basic Information

Authors: Professor Kathleen Kiernan
Published on Date: 2009
Funding source project: The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Over recent decades the experience of family change has been particularly concentrated among disadvantaged populations, suggesting the possibility that family changes may account for what appear to be ethnic and socioeconomic effects on children's health.

This research focuses on the role of the family in creating and maintaining significant inequality in children's health. In particular, it considers family structure as an independent contributor to health disparities, as a factor that explains some of the observed ethnic and socioeconomic health inequalities, and as a factor that works together in complex ways with ethnicity and socioeconomic status to create disparities.

Specifically, family structure and family transitions are expected to influence:

  1. the quantity of time that parents spend with their child;
  2. the quality of parental time;
  3. the quality of children's physical environments within and outside of the home.

The project uses data from two nationally representative birth cohort studies that follow children from birth through middle childhood: the Millennium Cohort Study and the US Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Both contain detailed information on family structure and children's health, and both have substantial socioeconomic and ethnic diversity.

Riche Classification

Demography: All , Perinatal: , Neonatal: , Infant (first year of life / baby not walking): , Young (pre-school ) child (including those attending Kindergarten / playgroup / child care) , Child (primary school: broadly 5-10 years) , Conception , Perinatal 0-6 days , Neonatal: 0-27 days ,
Population Groups: Children in poverty , Socio-economic status ,
Languages and Geographical Perspective: English ,
Study type / scale / state of progress / setting: Longitudinal study - cohort, trend, panel , Ongoing ,