Review of the child material deprivation items in the family resources survey

Document type
McKay, Stephen
Date of publication
1 May 2011
Research report; 746
Children and Young People, Families
Social welfare
Material type

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The inclusion of new material deprivation questions in the family resources survey from 2004/05 was based on quantitative research to determine the most reliable and valid indicators of deprivation among families with children. It was envisaged that this set of questions would need to be updated over time, to reflect changes in what people believe to be the necessities of life.

The Child Poverty Unit commissioned the analysis in this report to update, if and where necessary, the current Family Resources Survey questions used to measure children’s material deprivation. Recommendations for such changes would reflect movements in what are perceived to be necessities since the current questions were introduced, and any changes in the ability of such questions, taken as a whole, to track material deprivation among families with children.

This report provides evidence on which items (material goods, activities and access to services) are now regarded as essential in the UK. It draws on this evidence to propose changes to the overall set of indicators used to measure child poverty.

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