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The Negative Effects of Instability on Child Development: Fact Sheet

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Document date: September 26, 2013
Released online: September 26, 2013
Children thrive in stable and nurturing environments where they have a routine and know what to expect. Yet a large number of children face instability at some point in their lives. They experience change in individual or family circumstances that is abrupt, involuntary, and/or in a negative direction. This fact sheet highlights key findings from a review of research in five areas of instability: family income, parental employment, family structure, housing, and the out-of-home contexts of school and child care. It also discusses recommendations for policy and practice to alleviate instability's impact.


Topics/Tags: | Children and Youth | Families and Parenting | Poverty, Assets and Safety Net


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