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CEP discussion paper

Childhood circumstances and young adulthood outcomes: the role of mothers' financial problems


We here consider the cognitive and non-cognitive consequences on young adults of growing up with a mother who reported experiencing major financial problems. We use UK data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children to show that early childhood financial problems are associated with worse adolescent cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, controlling for both income and a set of standard variables, and in value-added models controlling for children’s earlier age-5 outcomes. The estimated effect of financial problems is almost always larger in size than that of income. Around one-quarter to one-half of the effect of financial problems on the non-cognitive outcomes seems to transit through mother’s mental health.


Marta Barazzetta, Andrew E. Clark and Conchita D'Ambrosio

22 March 2019     Paper Number CEPDP1609

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Community Wellbeing programme.