New research on growing up in poverty

Date: 7th April 2016
Category: General principles, Child poverty

New research by the National Children's Bureau and the Centre for Longitudinal Studies for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows the damaging impact growing up in deprived households can have on children's friendships and family life.

The report found that children who had experienced poverty were more likely to have problems with relationships, including an increased likelihood of being bullied and fighting with their friends, and having less communicative relationships with friends and family. These problems can have an effect on how well children perform at school and their likelihood of finding a way out of poverty as adults.

Children who have experienced poverty, particularly persistent poverty, are:

- More likely to be solitary. More than a third of children in persistent poverty were described as tending to play alone, compared to a quarter of children who have never experienced poverty.

- Three times as likely to fall out with their friends 'most days' (9% of children in persistent poverty compared to 3% of those who had never experienced poverty).

- Four times more likely to fight with or bully other children (16% of those in persistent poverty, compared to 4% of those who had never been poor). They are also more than twice as likely to report being bullied frequently themselves (12% compared to 5% of the never poor).

- Less likely to talk to their friends about their worries (34% of those in persistent poverty, compared to 43% of those never poor).

- More likely to spend time with their friends outside school. Half of children (50%) in persistent poverty say they see their friends outside school most days, compared with a third (35%) of children who had never been in poverty.