Family poverty, welfare reform, and child development

Child Dev. 2000 Jan-Feb;71(1):188-96. doi: 10.1111/1467-8624.00133.


Our review of research suggests that family poverty has selective effects on child development. Most important for policy are indications that deep or persistent poverty early in childhood affects adversely the ability and achievement of children. Although the 1996 welfare reforms have spurred many welfare-to-work transitions, their time limits and, especially, sanctions are likely to deepen poverty among some families. We suggest ways policies might be aimed at preventing either economic deprivation itself or its effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aid to Families with Dependent Children*
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child Welfare
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Poverty*
  • Public Policy
  • Social Welfare*