Dr Kirstine Hansen speaks to Channel 4 News on the number of British families facing multiple risk factors

2 April 2012

It is very easy for UK families to slip from zero to multiple challenges to their children’s development, Dr Kirstine Hansen has told Channel 4 News.

Recent research using data from the Millennium Cohort Study shows that 28 per cent of families with children of primary school age are facing multiple risks, including worklessness, overcrowded housing and financial hardship. Previous research suggests that it is multiple risk factors that are the most damaging to children’s development.

“These aren’t extreme examples – these are just very normal families,” said Dr Hansen, Research Director for the Millennium Cohort Study. “It’s a very easy progression from zero risk factors to one, two or more.”

The latest CLS working paper, Multiple risk factors in young children’s development, sheds fresh light on the number and diverse combinations of difficulties that young children have been exposed to during the first decade of the 21st century. It also provides the first detailed analysis of the number of challenges or ‘risk factors’ facing children from different ethnic groups.

Read more

Channel 4 News website: Britain’s working families at ‘tipping point’ by Dr Victoria James

The interview with Dr Hansen is scheduled to be broadcast during the coming week.

CLS press release: More than one in four UK children facing multiple risks to development, study finds

CLS working paper: Multiple risk factors in young children’s development