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The well-being of children in the UK (Third edition)

The well-being of children in the UK (Third edition)

Edited by Jonathan Bradshaw
Copyright Date: 2011
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  • Book Info
    The well-being of children in the UK (Third edition)
    Book Description:

    The well-being of children is a vital and highly topical issue. This important new book is the third in a series and updates the findings from a wide range of data to evaluate the outcomes of the Labour government's policies for children. Edited by a highly regarded expert in the field, it uses a framework to compare policy areas, making it an excellent source book for researchers, policy makers and students.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-941-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. List of figures and tables
    (pp. v-xii)
  4. List of abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Notes on contributors
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    Jonathan Bradshaw
  7. ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)
    Jonathan Bradshaw

    In the United Kingdom we have no official means of establishing how our children are doing, no ‘state of UK children’ report. This book is an attempt to fill that gap. It is the fourth in a series of volumes that have been produced out of the University of York stable since Bradshaw (2001). That book emerged from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) ‘Children 5-16: Growing into the 21st Century’ research programme and was motivated by anxiety about the impact that the doubling of relative child poverty rates might be having on the well-being of children in the...

  8. TWO Demography of childhood
    (pp. 13-26)
    Jonathan Bradshaw

    This chapter provides a review of recent developments in the demography of childhood in the UK as well as children’s changing social relationships within the family. It describes the demographic characteristics of children – their numbers, gender, age, ethnicity, geographical location and family composition. It presents comparisons of UK children with those of other countries, and reviews evidence of the impact of family structure on child well-being.

    In 2009 there were 11.5 million children under the age of 16 in the UK. Of these, 5.9 million were boys and 5.6 million girls. Table 2.1 shows how the numbers and proportion...

  9. THREE Child poverty and deprivation
    (pp. 27-52)
    Jonathan Bradshaw

    This book is about all children, not just poor children. However, the well-being of children is affected if they are poor, and, as we shall see, most domains of child well-being are affected by poverty or its proxies. Poor children are deprived of material assets, they experience higher mortality and morbidity, their activities and opportunities are constrained, they are more likely to suffer mental ill health and they are more likely to live in poor housing and poor neighbourhoods. Poverty in childhood has very strong associations with poor well-becoming. Child poverty is thus a very powerful indicator of the well-being...

  10. FOUR Physical health
    (pp. 53-88)
    Jonathan Bradshaw and Karen Bloor

    This chapter focuses on the physical health of children and their health behaviour, while the following chapter focuses on emotional and mental health. The topics covered include child and infant mortality, birth weight, immunisations, self-reported health, longstanding illnesses and chronic conditions, non-intentional accidents and injuries (also covered with a different perspective in Chapter Ten), HIV/AIDS, sexual health and teenage conceptions. Under health behaviour we cover smoking and alcohol consumption, diet, obesity and physical activity. In the main, the analysis is restricted to children aged 16 or under, although in respect of sexual health, we report data on young people aged...

  11. FIVE Subjective well-being and mental health
    (pp. 89-110)
    Jonathan Bradshaw and Antonia Keung

    Subjective well-being and mental health are not the same things. Indeed, as we shall see, there is some evidence that child subjective well-being and adolescent mental health have been moving in different directions over time. However, they are dealt with together in this chapter on the grounds that they are both concerned with emotional or psychological domains of life and there is some evidence that low subjective well-being may merge into mental illness (Valois et al, 2004).

    Well-being is multidimensional. Not one domain affects a child’s life, but many. Some of them may be described as ‘objective’, such as the...

  12. SIX Education
    (pp. 111-134)
    Antonia Keung

    This chapter reviews the educational attainment of children across the countries in the UK and over time and, where possible, puts this in a wider international context. It focuses on the formal qualifications attained by children in compulsory schooling and up to A Level, and explores how attainment varies by age, gender, ethnicity and social class. The chapter also refers to the findings from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA 2006). Rather than looking at the success rates in formal examinations, PISA evaluates the performance of school leavers of participating countries by assessing the ability of the 15-year-olds to...

  13. SEVEN Housing and the environment for children
    (pp. 135-156)
    Deborah Quilgars

    This chapter reviews the evidence of the link between housing, homelessness and the environment and the well-being of children in the UK. The previous Labour government placed a high priority on the creation of ‘sustainable communities’ (ODPM, 2003), acknowledging the role of both good quality housing and cohesive neighbourhoods in achieving this. The new Coalition government, with its policy focus on increasing localism and the development of the Big Society, has signalled that neighbourhoods will be the ‘building blocks’ for public sector reform more generally (Pickles, 2010). The Department for Communities and Local Government’s (CLG) resource settlement, however, was the...

  14. EIGHT Children’s time and space
    (pp. 157-174)
    Antonia Keung

    The aim of this chapter is to provide a broad picture of children’s time and space in England. It provides a review of children’s access to private, public and virtual spaces and factors associated with their spatial patterns. The chapter then looks into children’s use of time in various activities, including paid work and provision of unpaid care. The main sources of reference include the UK 2000 Time Use Survey, The Children’s Society Survey on well-being of children, the Playday 2009 opinion poll and the youth panel of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). In addition to quantitative data, information...

  15. NINE Children and young people in and leaving care
    (pp. 175-190)
    Gwyther Rees and Mike Stein

    At the end of March 2009 over 83,000 children were ‘looked after’ in the UK. In all four countries of the UK, the aims of official policy are to improve the well-being of these children and to help those young people who leave the care system in their often difficult transition to adulthood.

    Against this background this chapter is divided into two sections. The first provides descriptive information about numbers and trends and covers the following topics:

    the number of children in care and time trends in these statistics;

    the reasons that children are admitted to care;

    the characteristics of...

  16. TEN Child maltreatment
    (pp. 191-212)
    Carol-Ann Hooper

    Definitions of child maltreatment are variable and contested. While harm attributable to specific individuals is a common defining characteristic, and a common core includes physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and emotional abuse, some definitions are broader – child poverty, for example, covered in Chapter Three, can be argued to be a form of societal neglect, given its impact on children (Hooper et al, 2007). When new forms of harm to children are discovered, it is now common to claim that they are ‘a form of child abuse’, and definitions are sometimes, but not always, revised to include such harms. (Recent...

  17. ELEVEN Childcare and early years
    (pp. 213-234)
    Christine Skinner

    Over the last 12 years ‘early years’ policy relating to childcare and early education has progressed considerably, particularly in England. In 2004 a 10-year strategy provided much needed policy coherence (HM Treasury, 2004). The policy ‘vision’ was for each child to be given a ‘sure start’ in life and for parents to have more choices to help them balance work and family life. This represented the two key aims of early years policy: to tackle child poverty through increasing parental employment and to improve child outcomes through provision of high quality services for children aged five or less. Some elements...

  18. TWELVE Children, crime and illegal drug use
    (pp. 235-260)
    Lisa O’Malley and Sharon Grace

    This chapter reviews trends and data about how much crime is committed by children in England and Wales, it examines the types of crimes that are committed with a particular focus on illegal drug use, and considers crimes committed against children. It does not include data relating to topics covered elsewhere in this edition, specifically child abuse or neglect (see Chapter Ten, this volume) and alcohol consumption (see Chapter Four, this volume).

    Much of the available data covers age ranges starting at 10 years (the age of criminal responsibility) which leaves a gap in our knowledge about offending behaviour by...

  19. THIRTEEN Conclusion
    (pp. 261-270)
    Jonathan Bradshaw

    This new edition ofThe well-being of children in the UKprovides a more up-to-date picture of children’s lives. The previous edition (published in 2005) contained data only up to 2003 and some of that related to the period either before the election of the Labour government in 1997, or before the government had released itself from the shackles of its election commitment to maintain the previous Conservative government’s spending plans.

    Now in 2011, we are able to present a more modern picture and perhaps a picture that provides a preliminary evaluation at least of the impact of the Labour...

  20. References
    (pp. 271-298)
  21. Index
    (pp. 299-315)
  22. Back Matter
    (pp. 316-316)