Christchurch Press 25 April 2012
Children raised in poor families will earn less and achieve at a lower academic standard but will not have higher crime levels, a Christchurch study has found. The Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS), run by Otago University, has been following the lives of more than 1000 people since 1977. The latest study, published in Social Science and Medicine, has looked at the impact of family poverty on children up to the age of 10 and how this is reflected in adulthood.
…”Being brought up in an affluent family is advantageous to your education and career,” he said. “The major effects of being brought up in a poor family appear to be significant reduction in both educational achievement and earning opportunities that was still evident at the age of 30.” Poverty contributed to higher dependency on welfare in adulthood, he said.
… He said the study had produced some “interesting results”. “Contrary to popular belief, being brought up in a poor family does not mean increased rates of crime or mental health problems in adulthood,” he said. “These seem to be affected by how the family functions … the quality of relationships and is influenced by things like abuse, conflict, limited bonding and factors like that.”