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Faculty of Economics

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Dercon, S. and Krishnan, P.

Poverty and the psychosocial competencies of children: Evidence from the young lives sample in four developing countries

Children, Youth and Environments

Vol. 19(2) pp. 138-163 (2012)

Abstract: Using unique data from four developing countries, this paper explores the relationship between material poverty and the psychosocial competencies of children. Within a cohort of 12-year-olds, we find that measures of self-efficacy, sense of inclusion, self-esteem and educational aspirations all correlate with measures of the material well-being of the family in which they are growing up. In short, material circumstances shape these wider dimensions of child well-being. As other evidence has shown, these measures of psychosocial competencies reflect important life skills that affect children as adults and shape their future socioeconomic status. This suggests a mechanism by which poverty may be transmitted across generations. In addition, our evidence shows how a caregiver's education and school participation affects children's psychosocial competencies. This may indicate a possible means of overcoming such transmission of poverty over time

Author links: Pramila Krishnan  

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