Volume 1 – 5-Month-Old Infants

Number 3 – Standard of Living, Health and Development

In the first text in this issue, the authors examine the relationship between household poverty and the health of 5-month-old babies, taking into account their health status at birth and the mother's sociodemographic characteristics. The data from the first phase of the ELDEQ reveal that in 1998, approximately 28% of infants were living in families with inadequate income. These babies born to poor families are sick more often and accumulate more health problems. This relationship remains significant when taking into account the infant's health profile at birth (premature birth, intrauterine growth retardation and cumulative score for neonatal risk) and the mother's level of education and marital status. The second text focuses on the family's social position, and explores factors likely to protect children from the adversity associated with low socioeconomic status. Three objectives are pursued. First, to establish the social position of each family in Québec in which infants were living in 1998. Second, to examine the link between the health of 5-month-old and their family's social position, while attempting to characterize the main factors affecting this relationship. Third, to begin to understand the differences between the family and community influences on infant health. Overall, the results point to a close link between social belonging and the state of health of babies, regardless of the other factors considered.