Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Dr Costello and colleagues1 reported that children had fewer symptoms of conduct
and oppositional defiant disorders ("behavioral symptoms") after an income
intervention that moved their families out of poverty, but that anxiety and
depression symptoms ("emotional symptoms") were unaffected. After leaving
poverty, however, ex-poor children were significantly less likely to have
emotional symptoms than while in poverty, and were then no more likely to
report emotional symptoms than were children who were never poor. Furthermore,
ex-poor children were less likely to have an emotional symptom after leaving
poverty than were persistently poor children, but this difference achieved
borderline significance (P = .05) and was reported
as a negative result.
Case B. Effect of Poverty on Emotional Symptoms in Children. JAMA. 2004;291(4):424. doi:10.1001/jama.291.4.424-a