A research report from the Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre in the UK looks at family “stressors” and the impact on children’s outcomes. The authors look at whether particular life events are especially detrimental, whether they have an impact across different outcomes (educational, social, etc.), and whether the effects of early childhood events persist into adolescence. They also look at the association between family factors and outcomes.
The findings of the report are broad, especially as different family factors can be associated with different types of outcomes. Key findings include that
- Extreme stressful events, such as homelessness, victimization, or abuse, can have long-term effects on children’s outcomes.
- Some stressful events have an impact on children’s emotional and social well-being but not their educational outcomes, and so their negative impacts may therefore be harder to pick up.
The authors point out that in order to target interventions, it is important to understand which family circumstances are significant for child well-being at different ages, and how that varies across outcomes.