Norwegian version

Children's Level of Living: The Impact of Family Economy for Children's Lives

The aim of the project was to explore how income influence different aspects of children's lives.

The project focused on these three main issues:

  1. How are the living conditions in families with low income in 2000 (case sample) compared with families in the control sample? We focus on central dimensions like the parents' income, participation in the labor market, education, housing and the availability of key consumer goods.
  2. How do the children describe their relationship to the school, friends and leisure activities? What is the relationship between family income and children's everyday lives? How do the children and their parents deal with their living conditions?
  3. What measures can improve the lives of children in families with low income?

Panel data

Statistics Norway was responsible for the extraction of samples and conduct the interviews.

The data consisted of a low-income sample and a control sample. Children in the low-income sample was drawn from families that had incomes below 60 percent of median income in 2000, while children in the control sample was drawn from families in all income groups.

We have used total household income after tax. Also, we have applied the EU equivalence scale where the first adult in the household is given consumption weight 1, while other adults and each child is given, respectively, consumption weights 0,5 and 0,3. 

The survey is a panel study in which the same children and their families are interviewed three times: in 2003, 2006 and 2009. At the first interview round, the children were aged 6-12 years old. The parents were interviewed on behalf of the youngest children aged 6-8 years old. By 2009 they were adolescents aged 12-18 years old. 

At each interview the children were asked about various aspects of their everyday life; home, school and leisure time. They were also asked about their health, consumption and their views on the family's economic situation. The parents were asked about demographic factors, their workforce affiliation, the family finances and social relations. Both parents and children also filled out paper enquetes. In addition, Statistics Norway has added registry data on immigrant background, education, income and public benefits.

A qualitative survey has also been conducted where 26 parents and an equal number of children from the low-income sample was interviewed (Thorød, 2006, 2008).

  • Participants

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  • Publications


    • Johnsen, A., Bjørknes, R., Iversen, A. C., & Sandbæk, M. (2018). School Competence Among Adolescents in Low-Income Families: Does Parenting Style Matter? Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27
    • Sandbæk, M. (2017). European Policies to Promote Children’s Rights and Combat Child Poverty. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    • Johnsen, A.; A.C. Iversen; S.A. Lie & M. Sandbæk (2015). Does Poverty in a Scandinavian Welfare State Influence School Competence in Adolescents? Poverty & Public Policy
    • Elstad, J.I. & K. Stefansen (2014). Social Variations in Perceived Parenting Styles among Norwegian Adolescents. Child Indicators Research
    • Sandbæk, M. (2012). Child Poverty in a Rich Welfare State. Child Indicators Research. Vol. 6.
    • Elstad, J.I. & A.W. Pedersen (2012). The Impact of Relative Poverty on Norwegian Adolescents’ Subjective Health. A Causal Analysis with Proepensity Score matching. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public health, 9 (12)
    • Elstad, J.I. & A.W. Pedersen (2012): Fører dårlig familieøkonomi til flere subjektive helseplager blant ungdom? Tidsskrift for velferdsforskning, 15 (2)
    • Thorød, A.B. (2012). Er det for dyrt? Om barns deltakelse og valg av organiserte fritidsaktiviteter når familiens økonomi er svak. Fontene forskning, 01
    • Harju, A. & Thorød, A.B. (2011): Child Poverty in a Scandinavian Welfare Context – from Children’s Point of View. Child Indicators Research, 4(2): 283-299
    • Sandbæk, M. og Grødem, A.S. (2009). Barnefattigdom i et rettighetsperspektiv. I Fløtten, T. (red). Barnefattigdom i Norge. Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk
    • Sandbæk, M. (2009). Family Income and Children's Perception of parental Support and Monitoring. Social Policy and Society. Vol. 8.
    • Grødem, A.S. (2009). Finanskrisa gjør flere innvandrerfamilier sårbare for fattigdom. I Integreringskartet 2009, Oslo: IMDI
    • Grødem, A.S. (2009). The impact of poverty and immigrant background on children's school satisfaction: Evidence from Norway. International Journal of Social Welfare, 18(2)
    • Grødem, A.S. (2008). Fattigdommens ansikter: økonomi og livskvalitet i norske barnefamilier. Tidsskrift for Velferdsforskning 11(4)
    • Grødem, A.S. (2008). Enslige forsørgere uten betalt arbeid: foreldrenes situasjon og barns trivsel. Barn. 26(3)
    • Grødem, A.S. (2008). Velferdsstaten som ramme om oppvekst. I Kvello, Ø. (red). Oppvekst. Om barns og unges utvikling og oppvekstmiljø. Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk Forlag
    • Grødem, A.S. & Liebenberg, J. (2008). Poverty in Norway and South Africa. I Olivier, M. & Kuhnle, S. (red). Norms and Institutional Design. Social Security in Norway and South Africa. Stellenbosch: African Sun Media
    • Grødem, A.S. (2008). The development of policies for families with children in Norway. I Olivier, M. & Kuhnle, S. (red). Norms and Institutional Design. Social Security in Norway and South Africa. Stellenbosch: African Sun Media
    • Grødem, A.S. (2008). Household poverty and deprivation among children: how strong are the links? Childhood, 15:1
    • Sandbæk, M. (2007). Children's rights to a decent standard of living. I Wintersberger, H., Alanen, L., Olk, T. og Qvortrup, J. (red). Children’s economic and social welfare. Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark
    • Stefansen, K. og Skevik, A. (2006). Barnefamilier i kommunale boliger. Nordisk Sosialt Arbeid 26(3)
    • Skevik, A. (2005). Familier med vedvarende lavinntekt i Norge – har de dårlige levekår? Barn 23(3)