Growing up in poverty – multiple threats to children’s well-being

C-A. Hooper, C Cabral, S. Gorin, C. Dyson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Previous research has shown that children living in poverty are more vulnerable to some forms of maltreatment, especially physical abuse and neglect, than others. This paper reports the findings from a qualitative research project designed i) to explore the processes involved in the relationship between poverty, maltreatment and children’s well-being, and ii) to explore the mediating role of the stresses experienced by and the support available to low income families living in diverse contexts. 75 families have been interviewed in depth, including interviews with the main caregiver, a partner if available, and one child aged between 5 and 11 where possible. The sample consists of families on a low income living in areas of both high and low socio-economic deprivation. It includes families in contact with Social Services Departments (some of whose children have been on the child protection register) and those with no such contact. Interviews with parents have explored their life histories, current circumstances and experience of parenting and of services. Interviews with children have explored their understandings of parental stress, their subjective sense of well-being and their support networks. The paper will report on i) the range of threats to children’s well-being that have been identified amongst low income families and their relationship to diverse contexts, and ii) the implications of the data for understanding the relationship between poverty and maltreatment, considering the role of stress and support, culture and issues of care and control.
Translated title of the contributionGrowing up in poverty – multiple threats to children’s well-being
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISPCAN International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect - Children in a Changing World: Getting It Right, University of York
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006

Bibliographical note

Conference Organiser: ISPCAN & BASPCAN


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