By the same authors

From the same journal

Child poverty in the UK: measures, prevalence and intra-household sharing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Publication details

JournalCritical Social Policy
DateE-pub ahead of print - 7 Dec 2015
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2016
Issue number1
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)1-24
Early online date7/12/15
Original languageEnglish


There is cross-party agreement on the urgency of addressing child
poverty in the UK, but less consensus on how to define and measure
it, and understand its causes and effects. The Conservative/Liberal
Coalition government’s policy and rhetoric favoured individual explanations
for poverty, portraying poor parents as making bad spending
decisions, and transmitting their attitudes and behaviours on to
their children. This article draws on the 2012 UK Poverty and Social
Exclusion survey (PSE2012) to examine how far the realities of life for
poor children match these explanations. Analysis covers four strands:
the prevalence of child poverty; the demographics of poor children;
the experiences of poor children; and how parents in poverty allocate
household resources. Little evidence is found to support this ‘culture
of poverty’ theory, and parents who are themselves in poverty are
found to engage in a range of behaviours suggesting they sacrifice
personal necessities to provide for children.

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2015.

    Research areas

  • poverty, children, Measurement

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