Child Poverty Health Consequences




Health Research Council of New Zealand


Barry Milne, Nichola Shackleton, Eileen Li


University of Auckland: Andrew Sporle

University of Otago Wellington: Amanda Kvalsvig, Michael Baker, Sheree Gibb

University of Melbourne: Rebecca Bentley and Tony Blakely


This study aims to answer three questions in relation to the health effects of childhood poverty:

  1. What is the effect of childhood poverty on health, and for which health outcomes?
  2. Which aspects of poverty dynamics (i.e. timing, duration) have the greatest impact on health outcomes?
  3. Which factors most strongly mediate the association between child poverty and health, and what are the likely benefits of intervening on these factors?

Overall, the aim of this project is to provide policymakers robust evidence of the most effective way to reduce the impact of childhood poverty on health.


Bentley R, Simons K, Kvalsvig A, Milne B, Blakely T (2021). Short-run effects of poverty on asthma, ear infections and health service use in Australian children: Analysis of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. International Journal of Epidemiology 2021, doi:10.1093/ije/dyab059.

Shackleton N, Li E, Gibb S, Kvalsvig A, Baker M, Sporle A, Bentley R, Milne B (2021). The relationship between income poverty and child hospitalisations in New Zealand: Evidence from longitudinal household panel data and census data. PLOS One 16(1):e0243920, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0243920.

Milne B, Li E, Shackleton N (2021). Pacific Islands Families Study: Report on Financial Difficulties Scale, ISBN 978-0-473-58496-2 (PDF).