Child Poverty, Health, and Well-Being

October 2010, University of Wisconsin–Madison

This conference will convene between 30 and 40 researchers to discuss the following aspects of child health and well-being, considering both emerging findings that might be used to guide policy and areas in need of further research: (1) Overview of health disparities among children, (2) how SES gets ‘under the skin’ (e.g. brain functioning and stress biomarkers), (3) childhood antecedents of adult health, (4) policy impacts on childhood health. The final session of the conference will focus specifically on the National Children’s Study and how it can be used to study child health and poverty. The overall conference will include panelists who will discuss complex interdisciplinary issues from both narrow and broad points of view. The final product from the conference will be a summary report that can be distributed widely.

IRP will host this working conference with financial support from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Conference cosponsors with IRP are the Center for Demography and Ecology, Center for Demography of Health and Aging, Department of Population Health Sciences, Waisman Center, and the Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Columbia University's Population Research Center. Pamela Herd, Katherine Magnuson, and Barbara Wolfe are the conference organizers.

Pyle Center, Room 226
702 Langdon Street
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Introduction and Welcome, Pam Herd and Tim Smeeding, UW–Madison


What do we know and not know about the causes of health disparities of poor children? How does SES affect children’s health?

2:00-3:00 pm

Panel 1: Overview of Disparities in Health among Children

Jason Fletcher, Yale University
Nancy Reichman, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Whitney Witt, UW–Madison (Moderator/Discussant)    

3:00-4:15 pm

Panel 2a: How SES Gets Under the Skin: Brain Functioning

Seth Pollak, UW–Madison
Margaret Sheridan, Harvard University
Peter Gianaros, University of Pittsburgh
Barbara Wolfe, UW–Madison (Moderator/Discussant)

4:15-4:30 pm


4:30-5:30 pm

Panel 2b: How SES Gets Under the Skin: Stress Biomarkers)

Elliot Friedman, UW–Madison
Edith Chen, University of British Columbia
Marsha Mailick Seltzer, UW–Madison (Moderator/ Discussant)

7:00 pm



What are the long-term consequences of SES-related health disparities? How can policies improve poor children’s health? What are new directions and opportunities for research related to child health and poverty?


Meeting convenes


Panel 3: Childhood antecedents of Adult Health (SES)/Fetal Origin

Alberto Palloni, UW–Madison
Christopher Coe, UW–Madison
Rucker Johnson, University of California, Berkeley
Pamela Herd, UW–Madison (Moderator/ Discussant)


Panel 4: Policy Impacts on Poor Children

Jane Waldfogel, Columbia University
Bernard Guyer, Johns Hopkins University
[Presentation | The Foundations of Lifelong Health Are Built in Early Childhood]
Thomas DeLeire, UW–Madison
Katherine Magnuson, UW–Madison (Moderator/ Discussant)




Panel 5: National Children’s Study

Greg Duncan, University of California, Irvine
Maureen Durkin, UW–Madison
Christina Park, National Children’s Study
Maria Cancian, UW–Madison (Moderator/ Discussant)


Lunch (wrap-up discussion)
Closing comments, Barbara Wolfe, UW–Madison