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Author: Green, Michael J.
Resulting in 2 citations.
1. Green, Michael J.
Stritzel, Haley
Smith, Chelsea
Popham, Frank
Crosnoe, Robert
Timing of Poverty in Childhood and Adolescent Health: Evidence from the US and UK
Social Science and Medicine 197 (January 2018): 136-143.
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: Elsevier
Keyword(s): Adolescent Health; British Household Panel Survey (BHPS); Childhood Adversity/Trauma; Children, Poverty; Family Income; Health, Mental/Psychological; Health/Health Status/SF-12 Scale; Poverty; Smoking (see Cigarette Use)

Childhood poverty is associated with poorer adolescent health and health behaviours, but the importance of the timing of poverty remains unclear. There may be critical or sensitive periods in early life or early adolescence, or poverty may have cumulative effects throughout childhood. Understanding when poverty is most important can support efficient timing of interventions to raise family income or buffer against the effects of low income, but answers may vary across social contexts. The US and the UK are a useful comparison with similar liberal approaches to cash transfers, but very different approaches to healthcare provision. Utilising data from large population studies in the US (n = 9408; born 1979-1996) and UK (n = 1204; born 1991-1997), this study employs a structured life course approach to compare competing hypotheses about the importance of the timing or pattern of childhood exposure to poverty in predicting adolescent health limitations, symptoms of psychiatric distress, and smoking at age 16 (age 15/16 in US). Household income histories identified experience of poverty (measured as <60% of the national median equivalised income for a given year) in early life (ages 0-5), mid-childhood (ages 6-10) and early adolescence (ages 11-15). The Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) compared fit across models with variables representing different life course patterns of exposure to poverty. Adolescent distress was not associated with poverty in either country. In both countries, however, variables representing cumulative or persistent experiences of poverty exhibited optimal fit of all poverty exposure variables in predicting adolescent smoking and health limitations. There was also evidence of an early life sensitive period for smoking in the US. Poverty was more persistent in the US, but associations between poverty and outcomes were consistent across countries. Although poverty can have cumulative effects on health and behaviour, early interventions may offer the best long-term protection.
Bibliography Citation
Green, Michael J., Haley Stritzel, Chelsea Smith, Frank Popham and Robert Crosnoe. "Timing of Poverty in Childhood and Adolescent Health: Evidence from the US and UK." Social Science and Medicine 197 (January 2018): 136-143.
2. Stritzel, Haley
Green, Michael J.
Crosnoe, Robert
A Cross-National Comparison of the Linkages between Family Structure Histories and Early Adolescent Substance Use
Social Science and Medicine published online (15 November 2022): 115540.
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Elsevier
Keyword(s): Adolescent Health; Cross-national Analysis; Family Structure; Millennium Cohort Study (UK); Substance Use

Family structure can influence adolescent health with cascading implications into adulthood. Life course theory emphasizes how this phenomenon is dynamic across time, contextualized in policy systems, and grounded in processes of selection and socialization. This study used data from the U.S. (National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Child and Young Adults, n = 6236) and U.K. (Millennium Cohort Study, n = 11,095) to examine associations between a single mother family structure between ages 0-14 and early adolescent substance use at age 14 across time and place, using inverse probability of treatment weighting to explore how results varied by selection into family structure. In both countries, single parenthood, regardless of its timing during childhood, consistently predicted adolescent substance use when samples were re-weighted to resemble the overall population. However, when samples were re-weighted so that their background characteristics resembled those of actual single parent families, there was little evidence that single parenting posed risks, suggesting that single parenting might matter less for adolescents who are likely to experience it (and vice versa). In addition, more generous welfare policy in the U.K. than in the U.S. did not appear to have ameliorated the observed role of single parenting in adolescent substance use. Findings supported a model of disadvantage saturation, where single parenting has little additional impact over the myriad other disadvantages that single parent families tend to experience, rather than a model of cumulative disadvantage, where single parenting compounds or adds to other disadvantages. Policy and interventions might more valuably focus on these other disadvantages than on family structure.
Bibliography Citation
Stritzel, Haley, Michael J. Green and Robert Crosnoe. "A Cross-National Comparison of the Linkages between Family Structure Histories and Early Adolescent Substance Use." Social Science and Medicine published online (15 November 2022): 115540.