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K.Kiernan University of York Child Well-Being in the Early Years: What Matters? Kathleen Kiernan University of York International Society for Child Indicators.

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Presentation on theme: "K.Kiernan University of York Child Well-Being in the Early Years: What Matters? Kathleen Kiernan University of York International Society for Child Indicators."— Presentation transcript:

1 K.Kiernan University of York Child Well-Being in the Early Years: What Matters? Kathleen Kiernan University of York International Society for Child Indicators Conference July 2011

2 K.Kiernan University of York Child Well-Being in the Early Years: What Matters? Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study Collaborators John Hobcraft, Fiona Mensah, Maria del Carmen Huerta and Anna Garriga

3 K.Kiernan University of York Policy Context Reduction in Child Poverty Child Poverty Bill June 2010 “Every Child Matters” – Being healthy: Staying safe: Enjoying and Achieving: Making a positive contribution and Economic well-being UNICEF Report ( February 2007)

4 K.Kiernan University of York The Early Years Matter Neurons to Neighbourhoods –concluded” “ virtually every aspect of human development, from the brains evolving circuitry to the child’s capacity for empathy, is affected by the environment and experiences that are encountered in a cumulative fashion, beginning in the pre-natal period and extending throughout the early childhood years” US National Academy of Sciences 2000

5 K.Kiernan University of York Millennium Cohort Study Initially Families Children – Born in – Families interviewed when baby 9 months old and age 3 and 5 years and age 7 years Over-representation – Children in disadvantaged areas – Ethnic minority communities – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Linkage to hospital and school records

6 K.Kiernan University of York Cognitive and Behaviour Children’s outcomes at age 5 Learning and development (Foundation stage profile – QCA 2003) - Communication, language and literacy (CLL) - Mathematical development - Personal, social and emotional development - Knowledge and understanding of the world - Physical development - Creative development Behaviour – total difficulties score - (SDQ – Goodman 1997) - Emotional symptoms - Conduct problems -Hyperactivity -Peer problems

7 K.Kiernan University of York Focal Factors History of Poverty History of Maternal Depression Parenting at age 3 (Mediator)

8 K.Kiernan University of York Income poverty History of income poverty 1% None reported61 At 9 months or age 3 (Early)13 At age 5 (Current)12 At 9 months, age 3 and age 5 (Persistent)14 1 less than 60 percent of the median for the UK

9 K.Kiernan University of York Odds (ratios) of being in lowest decile of the CLL assessment K.Kiernan University of York

10 Odds (ratios) of having high levels of behaviour problems at age 5 K.Kiernan University of York

11 Maternal depression and anxiety History of maternal depression and anxiety 1% None reported70 At 9 months or age 3 (Prior)14 At age 5 (Current)12 At 9 months, age 3 and age 53 1 Assessed using Malaise scale at 9 months and Kessler scale at 3 and 5 years

12 K.Kiernan University of York Odds (ratios) of being in lowest decile of CLL Assessment K.Kiernan University of York

13 Odds (ratios)of having high levels of behaviour problems at age 5 K.Kiernan University of York

14 Findings on Poverty and Depression Poverty matters for children’s cognitive development but less so for behaviour problems Maternal Depression matters notably so for behaviour problems but also for children’s cognitive development K.Kiernan University of York

15 Parenting measures (at Age 3) Parental warmth and Parental Conflict Positive and negative discipline Irregular Meal times and Bedtimes Frequency of reading to the child Home Learning Environment

16 K.Kiernan University of York Parenting and Child Outcomes Odds RatiosCLLSDQ Warmth - Low Conflict - High Irregular Mealtimes Rarely reads Smacks frequently 1.3 ns 3.0

17 K.Kiernan University of York School Performance – Percentage performing at a good level No Poverty and Positive Parenting 73% No Poverty and Poor Parenting 42% No Poverty (Total) 60% Persistent Poverty and Positive Parenting 58% Persistent Poverty and Poor Parenting 19% ) Persistent Poverty (Total) 26% K.Kiernan University of York

18 A broader canvas Use data from UK Millennium Cohort Study Examine cognitive and behaviour outcomes at age 5 across the full distribution Use inputs around birth, age 9 months and age 3 Explore child characteristics & attributes Explore parenting and parental attributes Ascertain “What matters?”

19 Child Outcomes at age 5 Total Difficulties Score on SDQ British Ability Scales. Overall score on three cognitive tests given in the home which assess vocabulary, pattern construction abilities and ability to identify similar pictures..

20 Domains Child characteristics Early mothering behaviours Mother’s Parenting attitudes and behaviours – Positive and negative Mother’s mental and general health Demographic characteristics Partnership status and relations Socioeconomic characteristics

21 Child characteristics Around BirthSDQ at 5Cog at 5 Male *** Low Birth weight *** Development at 9 months Gross Motor*** Fine Motor** Communication/ gestures** Carey Temperament at 9 months Adaptability** Regularity feeds etc*** Cry/Fuss**

22 Mothering – Birth & 9 months Around BirthSDQ at 5Cog at 5 Obese before pregnancy*** Smoking through pregnancy** Breastfeeding***** At 9 months Parental resentment/ hostility ** Parental stimulation * Misses child if away (Reverse) ***

23 Parenting at age 3 - Positive MotherSDQ at 5Cog at 5 Maternal warmth ***** Positive Home observations *** Reads to child **** Home Learning environment positive *** Regular bedtimes **** Regular mealtimes ***

24 Parenting at age 3 - negative Mother SDQ at 5Cog at 5 Maternal child conflict high*** Home observation negative ***** Harsh disciplinary practices if child naughty ***

25 Mother’s Health SDQ at 5Cog at 5 Self-rated General Health**** Malaise (Depression)*** Self-efficacy***

26 Demographic Characteristics SDQ at 5Cog at 5 Mother’s age at birth under 25*** Family size*** positive*** negative Mother’s ethnicity**** Language spoken at home***

27 Partnership Status and Quality SDQ at 5Cog at 5 Quality of Partnership and no partnership *** Family Status at age 3 (Step Family) * Parental separation between 9 months and age 3 **

28 Socioeconomic situation SDQ at 5Cog at 5 Mother’s education *** Income*** Mother never worked at 9 months**** Workless household***

29 K.Kiernan University of York What matters to age 5 in MCS? Measures from all domains matter for each of poor outcomes on children’s cognition and behaviour at age 5: – Pregnancy, – Parenting, – Income deprivation – Maternal Education – Maternal health – Parental Relationships – Demographic characteristics of parents and child – Child outcomes at earlier ages

30 Key messages Results of very extensive analyses of MCS shows No ‘magic bullet’ domain Child outcomes are a legacy of multiple poorer inputs and circumstances across a range of domains Different factors matter for different outcomes

31 Future directions A greater focus on processes: – Time: Persistence of disadvantage Scarring effects of disadvantage – Change Development as an malleable process Drivers and inhibitors of change Developmental trajectories Longitudinal Studies

32 K.Kiernan University of York Future Inequalities (UK) Raft of Policies enacted since MCS children passed through their early years 2013 Cohort – will these children fare better?


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