Long-term poverty and child development in the United States: Results from the NLSY

Sanders Korenman, Jane E. Miller, John E. Sjaastad

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267 Scopus citations


We describe developmental deficits in early childhood associated with longterm poverty in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). We compare estimates of the effects of long-term poverty (based on a 13-year average of income) to estimates of the effects of poverty based on a single year of income (at the time of developmental assessment). There are substantial developmental deficits among children who, on average, are poor over a number of years relative to those who are not. These deficits are approximately twice as large according to the long-term income measure as compared to those based on the single-year measure, and are not explained by differences in maternal education, family structure, maternal behaviors during pregnancy, infant health, nutritional status, or age of mother at first birth. However, an index of the home environment accounts for one third to one half of the developmental disadvantages (net of other factors) of children who experience long-term poverty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-155
Number of pages29
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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