Discrepancy between expected and actual child support payments : predicting the health and health-related quality of life of children living in low-income, single-parent families

Cook, K., Davis, E. and Davies, B. 2008, Discrepancy between expected and actual child support payments : predicting the health and health-related quality of life of children living in low-income, single-parent families, Child : care, health and development, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 267-275.

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Title Discrepancy between expected and actual child support payments : predicting the health and health-related quality of life of children living in low-income, single-parent families
Author(s) Cook, K.
Davis, E.
Davies, B.
Journal name Child : care, health and development
Volume number 34
Issue number 2
Start page 267
End page 275
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2008-03
ISSN 0305-1862
1365-2214
Keyword(s) child support
child health
low-income
welfare
social health
Summary Objective Although the amount and frequency of child support payments received by single parents are often erratic and fluctuate, no study to date has quantitatively explored how the discrepancy between expected and actual payments relates to child health. This study aims to examine whether the discrepancy between expected and actual child support payments predicts a range of child health outcomes, including global health, health-related quality of life, involvement in activities and parental psychological distress.

Methods This study used results from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, which included a sample of parents of children aged 4–5 years (n = 4983). The questionnaire was completed by the parent who spent the most time with the child and knew the child best. From the 4983 families, 332 low-income single parents reliant on welfare with a formal or informal child support order in place were identified.

Results After controlling for income, the discrepancy between expected and actual child support predicted school functioning, conduct problems, total mental health problems and involvement in activities. Discrepancy between expected and actual child support payments did not predict the remaining health-related quality of life domains, mental health domains, global child health or parental psychosocial distress.

Conclusion This was the first study to examine how the discrepancy between expected and actual child support payments relates to child health, providing important data on the effectiveness of the child support system for children's well-being. These findings highlight the potential impact of the discrepancy on school functioning, conduct problems, total mental health problems and involvement in activities.
Language eng
Field of Research 160512 Social Policy
Socio Economic Objective 940204 Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, The Authors & Blackwell Publishing Ltd (journal compilation)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017780

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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