University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Effects of poverty and health on children’s cognitive development

It is increasingly clear that poverty and health have a reciprocal relationship, with each affecting the other, and with the two working together to contribute to inequality by socioeconomic status. Health and poverty both vary over time, and each simultaneously obscures, mediates, and moderates the effects of the other. It is difficult to disentangle these intertwined effects, and most research to date has focused only on the effects of health on poverty or the reverse. In the work described in this article, Dohoon Lee and I examine how the reciprocal relationship between poverty and child health during early childhood affects estimates of each circumstance on children’s cognitive development, and assess how these effects vary with age and across racial and ethnic groups.1


Child Development & Well-Being, Child Poverty, Children, Health, Health General, Inequality & Mobility, Intergenerational Poverty