Volume 2 – From Birth to 29 Months

Number 2 – Growing Up in a Changing Environment

As a result of their parents conjugal mobility, children today are far more likely than earlier generations to live multiple family transitions at a young age. These family changes are often accompanied by major fluctuations in income. However, children's experience of both family transitions and low-income episodes can have a number of short or long term consequences on their development, depending on the point in time at which they occur and the way in which they are integrated into the life course. Based on data from the first three QLSCD 1998-2002 survey rounds, this paper first describes certain changes in children's family environment and in their family's economic situation between birth and approximately 2½ years. This is followed by a presentation of the links between the number of low-income periods experienced by children and the socio-demographic characteristics of families. Finally, economic changes are explored in the light of family pathways in such a way as to bring together these two aspects of a child's environment. In the medium term, these data could be used to throw more light on the antecedents of children social adjustment as they enter school.