Family Policy and Cross-National Patterns of Poverty

  • Tommy Ferrarini
  • Katja Forssén
Part of the Social Policy in a Development Context book series (SPDC)


Since the 1980s child poverty has become a new political issue in many countries. Anti-poverty measures directed towards children and their families have been constrained by tensions between the interests of the state and the rights and responsibilities of the parents. However, there exists wide consensus on the fact that child poverty should be lowered to the minimum level possible. Poverty in families with children may have severe consequences for the individuals living under such circumstances, not only in the short run but also in longer perspective. The shortage of external resources is reflected either directly or indirectly in the well-being of the child (Daniel and Ivatts 1998). For example, the shortage of material resources directly affects everyday life of the family and it has a negative effect on the health of family members, home environment, atmosphere of the family, stability of the family and parenthood (Congeret al. 1992; Zill et al. 1995; Jack and Jordan 1999; Duncan and Brooks-Gunn 2000). Socioeconomic status has an impact on children’s well-being at multiple levels. The impact of low economic resources is moderated by children’s own characteristics, functionality of the family, external support systems, etc. (Bradley and Corwyn 2002). Families can experience poverty in many different subjective ways; however, there is a strong connection between experience of poverty and overall well-being (Duncan and Brooks-Gunn 2000).


Welfare State Poverty Rate Parental Leave Child Poverty Female Labour Force Participation 
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© United Nations Research Institute for Social Development 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tommy Ferrarini
  • Katja Forssén

There are no affiliations available

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