Relative or absolute standards for child poverty: a state-level analysis of infant and child mortality

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the present study was to compare the associations of state-referenced and federal poverty measures with states' infant and child mortality rates. METHODS: Compressed mortality and Current Population Survey data were used to examine relationships between mortality and (1) state-referenced poverty (percentage of children below half the state median income) and (2) percentage of children below the federal poverty line. RESULTS: State-referenced poverty was not associated with mortality among infants or children, whereas poverty as defined by national standards was strongly related to mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Infant and child mortality is more closely tied to families' capacity for meeting basic needs than to relative position within a state’s economic hierarchy.

Publication
Am J Public Health
Sam Harper
Sam Harper
Associate Professor of Epidemiology

My research interests include impact evaluation, reproducible research, and social epidemiology.

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