NYU Steinhardt News

Steinhardt Faculty Awarded $2.3 Million to Study South African Families in Crisis

Larry Aber, professor of applied psychology and public policy, has been awarded a $2.3 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for a three-year study, "Well-being of South African Children: Household, Community, and Policy Influences." Aber leads this project with LaRue Allen, director of Steinhardt's Child and Family Policy Center, and Linda Richter, executive director of the Child, Youth, Family and Social Development program at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa.

A decade after the end of apartheid, nearly 70% of the nation's black African children live in households with incomes less than $2,000 per year. The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate for pregnant women is more than 30%, and it is projected that by 2010, 19% of black South African children will have experienced the death of one or both parents due to AIDS. In response to this crisis, the researchers will conduct a study of 7 to 10-year olds and their parents or guardians in the communities of KwaZulu-Natal. They will examine how household poverty, parental illness, and death affect these children's well-being and life chances. In addition, the team will be evaluating supplemental income supports that are conditional on household investments in children's health and education to see if they improve the health, education, and economic opportunities for South African families.