Children in low-income families have an increased chance of thriving when their caregiver relationships include certain positive characteristics, according to new research.
Using data from more than 2,200 low-income families surveyed as part of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, researchers from the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that school-age children who reported high levels of parent involvement and supervision were more likely to report behaviors associated with positive emotional development and social growth.
"Too often, when poor families are discussed, the focus is on deficits," said Renée Wilson-Simmons, DrPH, NCCP director and a co-author of the report. "And chief among those deficits is what's seen as parents' inability to successfully parent their children." Dr. Wilson-Simmons challenged the deficits focus, adding that despite the multitude of obstacles that low-income parents face, many of them succeed in helping their children flourish. "They raise children who possess the social-emotional competence needed to develop and keep friendships; establish good relationships with parents, teachers, and other adults; and experience a range of achievements that contribute to their self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. These families have something to teach us all about thriving amidst adversity."