According to a study published in Lancet Regional Health Europe, persistent child poverty and family difficulties may have a significant effect on adolescent health.
The authors claim that their study is the first of its kind to examine the effects of poverty and multiple indicators of family adversity, such as domestic violence, parental illness, and alcohol abuse, on children in the United Kingdom.
More than 11,000 children were included in the longitudinal data of the UK Millennium Cohort Study. The participants were followed up until they turned 14 years old.
Adjusting for potential confounders, multivariable logistic regression was used to examine associations between these trajectories and child physical, mental, and behavioral outcomes at age 14.
The study concluded that childhood socioeconomic conditions must be taken into account when addressing childhood adversities, as children in the groups with the most persistent adversity trajectory had the worst outcomes.
“The findings add to the current body of evidence by showing that poor parental mental health and poverty co-occur or cluster and their persistence across the developmental stages is associated with adverse child outcomes, particularly poor child mental health,” stated one of the study’s co-authors in a news release.