Focus and Focus+ Icon

Poverty and parenting young children

Three panelists spoke on the topic of poverty and parenting young children. Ariel Kalil provided an overview of gaps by family income in child development outcomes, arguing that parenting is a major factor in this gap, and describing some “low-cost, light-touch” interventions that hold promise for strengthening the parenting skills of the disadvantaged. Lawrence Berger presented findings from a study looking at whether increasing income through the Earned Income Tax Credit reduces the incidence of child maltreatment among low-income unmarried families. The study found that increased income was associated with decreases in child neglect and child protective services involvement for this group, particularly for single-mother families. Helena Duch presented evidence from two programs for low-income families designed to promote school readiness through parental engagement, concluding that higher engagement is associated with improvements in some school-readiness measures, and that some simple interventions show potential for increasing the level of parental engagement. This set of articles summarizes their presentations.


Child Development & Well-Being, Child Maltreatment & Child Welfare System, Child Poverty, Children, Early Childhood Care & Education, Economic Support, Education & Training, Family & Partnering, Inequality & Mobility, Intergenerational Poverty, Parenting, Social Insurance Programs, Transition to Adulthood