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ERIC Number: ED505315
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Pages: 78
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 0-6623-3899-5
Poverty, Social Capital, Parenting and Child Outcomes in Canada. Final Report. Working Paper Series
Jones, Charles; Clark, Linn; Grusec, Joan; Hart, Randle; Plickert, Gabriele; Tepperman, Lorne
Human Resources Development Canada
The experience of long-term poverty affects many child outcomes, in part through a family stress process in which poverty is considered to be one of the major factors causing family dysfunction, depression among caregivers and inadequate parenting. Recent scholarship extends the classical Family Stress Model by researching the ways in which neighbourhood contexts might mediate or modify these relationships. Neighbourhoods vary from the affluent to the economically deprived and since the long-term poor rarely live in well-off neighbourhoods, measures of neighbourhood disadvantage add little to family poverty in the prediction of child health and behaviour problems. But neighbourhoods also differ in the degree to which they are socially organized, cohesive and supportive to the enterprise of raising children. Sociologists refer to this as the "social capital" of neighbourhoods and propose that such social capital may ameliorate the effects of poverty and help parents raise children to achieve their full potential. This study reports the construction of measures related to social capital (Collective Efficacy and Social Support) at the neighbourhood, rather than the individual level, and the use of these along with a battery of census characteristics and other explanatory variables in the prediction of outcomes for longitudinal children aged 4 to 15 in the NLSCY [National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth]. The authors used statistical modeling to study the impact of higher or lower amounts of social capital in a national sample and in a smaller sample of some 200 neighbourhoods (as defined by census enumeration areas). The results support some aspects of an expanded family stress theory in that the effects of long-term poverty upon child outcomes are mediated, but also moderated by neighbourhood social capital, and by family "burnout" (dysfunction and parental depression). The study confirms previous research showing that certain parenting styles are strongly associated with children's health and behaviour problems, and that neighbourhoods account for small but significant proportions of the variation in child outcomes. An innovative result is that the degree to which long-term poverty impacts child outcomes varies according to the characteristics of neighbourhoods. The authors caution that their study cannot provide national estimates of the impact of neighbourhood social capital on child outcomes. A bibliography is included. (Contains 3 figures, 12 tables, and 30 footnotes.) [This paper is available in French under the title: "La pauvrete, le capital social, les competences parentales et les resultats des enfants au Canada."
Human Resources Development Canada. Service Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0J9, Canada. Tel: 1-800-926-9105; Fax: 613-941-1827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Human Resources Development Canada, Applied Research Branch
Identifiers - Location: Canada