GSE Faculty Research

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

9-1-2017

Embargo Date

9-1-2018

Publication Source

Social Service Review

Volume

91

Issue

3

Start Page

534

Last Page

570

DOI

10.1086/694111

Abstract

Although there is a wealth of research on the relationship between income level and employment status and child well-being, the relationship between economic instability and health during early childhood is understudied. We examine the associations between the incidence, accumulation, and timing of intrayear employment and income instability with household and child food insecurity and child health using a nationally representative sample of households. The sample includes children age 3–5 from households in the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (N = 5,056). We find that young children’s households experience high levels of both income and employment instability. Both the incidence and the accumulation of instability predict poorer child outcomes, more recent instability is more strongly associated with child outcomes, and these relations are stronger for children with less educated parents. Employment and income changes have separate, unique associations with each outcome and operate in somewhat different ways.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© 2017 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Accepted for publication by Social Service Review.

Keywords

child health, early childhood development, employment instability, food insecurity, income instability

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Date Posted: 05 May 2021

This document has been peer reviewed.