Social, economic, and political determinants of child health

Pediatrics. 2003 Sep;112(3 Part 2):704-6.


This article presents a brief overview of the effects of social, economic, and political factors on child health. It starts by highlighting child poverty in rich nations, in particular the United Kingdom and the United States, and identifies the economic and political factors underlying this phenomenon. The evidence linking socioeconomic status and child health is briefly reviewed with particular attention to birth weight and child mental health-2 of the most important public health challenges in the 21st century. The implications for pediatricians of high levels of child poverty and the effect that these have on children are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / economics*
  • Child Welfare / psychology
  • Developed Countries
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mental Health
  • Pediatrics
  • Physician's Role
  • Poverty / trends*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class