Cumulative Hardship and Wellness of Low-Income, Young Children: Multisite Surveillance Study

This article shows that the level of a novel cumulative index of 3 prevalent hardships (food, housing, and energy insecurity) is a robust predictor of the health and development of children 4 to 36 months of age. In a sample size of 7,141 participants, 37% reported no material hardship, 57% moderate hardship, and 6% severe hardship. The current findings raise serious concerns about the future well-being of young children in the United States, given fluctuations in food and energy costs, foreclosures and evictions, and widespread job losses.