Child Poverty and Health: The Role of Income Support Policies
Child poverty is associated with both short- and long-term health and well-being. Poverty affects child health directly through the experience of deprivation, such as through food insufficiency or lack of housing, but also indirectly through the availability of parental or community resources. Economic resources also shape children's access to health-promoting policies, like education, child care, parental leave, and health care, which affect both current and later-life health and mortality. Many income support policies also reduce poverty and improve economic well-being, which in turn improves child health. This free open access article reviews the evidence on income support policies in the United States and their effects on child health. This paper is not an exhaustive literature review but paints a broad picture of findings related to income support and child health. It also outlines policy considerations and areas where additional research is needed to understand how income support and poverty reduction might best support child health.